Chronic Pain Relief
Curing Chronic Pains: Finding Relief with Physical Therapy
Are you experiencing chronic pain that’s keeping you from doing the things you love? If so, physical therapy can help.
Our bodies experience pain as a physical response to something harmful going on in our bodies. For example, if you accidentally touch a hot stove top, your immediate reaction is to pull your hand away. Your brain recognizes the pain that the hot stove top causes, sometimes even before you realize it yourself. The messages being sent back and forth between your brain and your hand understand that if your hand is kept on the hot stove for a prolonged amount of time, you will sustain a serious injury.
However, pain can sometimes occur for underlying reasons that we cannot control. Pain may linger for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. Pain is considered chronic when it lasts for three months or longer. If you have been suffering from chronic pain and you are seeking relief, contact Boulet Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute today to consult with one of our licensed Lafayette physical therapists. We will do all we can to get you back to doing the things you love again.
The difference between acute and chronic pain:
Acute pain can be defined as a temporary pain that usually goes away on its own within a few hours, days, or weeks. The example we used of touching the hot stove and then immediately pulling your hand away would be considered an example of acute pain due to the fact that the pain would likely subside shortly after your hand is pulled away. Another example of acute pain would be an accidental ankle sprain, as pain would likely last for a couple of weeks until it is healed.
Chronic pain can be defined as any pain that persists for three months or longer. It is the most common reason why people seek medical help, and there are a large number of reasons why it may occur. Additional symptoms commonly experienced with chronic pain include decreased mobility, depression, anxiety, prescription drug dependence, and an overall decline in quality of life. This can cause frustration and debilitating results; however, physical therapy can help alleviate your chronic pain.
Why am I experiencing chronic pain?
Chronic pain is typically rooted in the musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues.
Some common conditions that may lead to chronic pain include:
- Surgery. Unfortunately, surgical procedures are sometimes unavoidable. When surgery is necessary to correct a certain painful condition, the recovery period itself may prove to be just as painful. Surgical repair of an area on the body may be enough to correct a structural problem, but we often compensate in our movement for the pain we experience. Weeks, months, or even years of compensatory movement often causes additional pain after surgery, if said movement is not corrected. Physical therapy offers both pre-surgical and post-surgical rehabilitation services that can help relieve pain, speed up recovery time, and reduce the risk of developing chronic pain in the future.
- Accidents. According to a 2016 statistic found by OSHA, workplace injuries happen to approximately 2.9 out of every 100 employees. A study published by the journal Pain also states that 21% of people involved in motor vehicle accidents develop chronic, widespread pain in the weeks following their accident. This pain won’t go away on its own, therefore you should seek the help of a Lafayette physical therapist to help in alleviating it. Any accident can lead to chronic pain, whether it occurs in the workplace, in a motor vehicle, or even in your own home. PT treatments can help provide relief for any accident-related chronic pain.
- Overuse Injuries. Your gait, posture, stance, and the ways in which you work or exercise can all take a toll on your body if you are not careful. Overuse injuries are common conditions that develop when part of the body is used in excessive repetitive motions over a period of time. Most overuse injuries occur when improper techniques are used, causing an abnormal strain on the affected body part. When this happens, your joints and muscles can become damaged, resulting in chronic pain. Physical therapy can help you learn how to properly move your body in your everyday life, in order to avoid overuse injuries.
- Disease. There are a large variety of diseases that can lead to chronic pain, including multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. The chronic pain experienced from these conditions can range from dull to severe, but it can be managed or even alleviated completely with physical therapy.
How can I find relief with physical therapy?
Physical therapy is a safe and effective method for treating chronic pain. Physical therapists are movement experts, and the dedicated staff at our Lafayette physical therapy office are equipped in both diagnosing and treating chronic pain conditions. Our physical therapists will examine the affected area(s) of your body in order to gauge any imbalances, weaknesses, or limited ranges of motion. By doing this, the cause of chronic pain can be located and our physical therapist can determine what the best course of treatment will be for your specific needs.
Many treatment plans for chronic pain will include some form of manual therapy, in order to alleviate pain, increase mobility, and decrease scar tissue. It may also include targeted exercises and stretches, in order to improve your strength and balance. If you are looking for chronic pain relief, contact Boulet Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute today to schedule your initial appointment. We can help get you started on the right track toward long-lasting pain relief!