In the United States alone, chronic pain affects over one-hundred million people. Across the globe, it affects almost thirty-percent of the total population (according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Disease Prevention). In addition, experts predict that global chronic pain statistics will increase as the collective population ages. For countless Long Island physical therapy patients, chronic pain is the catalyst for seeking treatment.
Discovering natural pain relief also continues to evolve, especially as medical providers develop serious concerns over the use of opioids to treat chronic pain. However, understanding more about chronic pain and the benefits of physical therapy may alleviate your pain. In this post, we’ll discuss how physical therapy helps to treat chronic pain.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Of course, pain’s a natural way for our bodies to notify us of a problem. However, it can often reach a much more severe level. Chronic pain lasts for weeks, months or even years, as per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. And when pain is ceaseless, it leads to relentless impacts on our quality of life.
Chronic pain may include pain from arthritis, cancer or infection. Also, it can even show up without any past injury or health problems. In addition, chronic pain generally affects the back or a specific muscle group.
Finding the Cause of Your Chronic Pain
Treating chronic pain means identifying and eliminating the root cause. For example, someone experiencing tissue damage from a fall or accident must address the issue in order to heal. It might be a herniated disc, poor posture, obesity, arthritis, fractures or nerve damage. Of course, another potential issue may be damage to the muscle or a ligament. (These are also known as strains and sprains, respectively.)
In addition, certain health problems may increase risk for damage to joints and muscles, as well. This contributes to a loss of motion and build-up of tension. And for those without any root issue, resorting to medications may feel like the only solution. However, there’s countless risks associated with opioid painkillers for chronic pain treatment.
At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, our therapists will work with you to determine the source of your pain. Once the cause and location of your pain is determined, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan.
How Physical Therapy Treats Chronic Pain
As opioid abuse became a national public health crisis, medical professionals began to consider other ways to manage chronic pain. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends the use of non-drug approaches over use of prescription painkillers.
Medications simply place a temporary, fleeting bandage over the actual problem. However, physical therapy works to address and eliminate the root cause of the pain. Catalysts of chronic pain are often the result of joint or muscle damage. Therefore, improving joints’ range of motion may improve the symptoms. In this case, specific joint movements activate the body’s response to enhance mobility and muscle tone. Also, patients find themselves feeling healthier, stronger and more active. As a result, chronic pain significantly decreases.
For people with existing injuries, treating them with physical therapy serves additional purposes. These include improving circulation to the joint and tissues to promote healing. In addition, they include helping a person learn to move the joint without risking any further damage. Over time, limited motion will cause pain during movement. Therefore, regular treatment with a physical therapist will reduce risk for chronic pain. Also, they’ll improve symptoms for anyone living with it today.
Stop Living in Pain With Physical Therapy Treatment for Chronic Pain Now
Chronic pain doesn’t always require medication treatment. Instead, physical therapy and knowing more about the causes of chronic pain may be the best solution. And, in fact, they carry less risk for injury, have fewer side effects and eliminate the risk of addiction. To learn more about how therapy could help with your chronic pain, schedule your appointment with Farmingdale Physical Therapy West today.