What Are the Different Types of Chronic Pain?

What Are the Different Types of Chronic Pain?

Living with chronic pain conditions isn’t easy. But, having the necessary accommodations (including physical therapy) will allow you to be able to cope and get through the daily pain. Chronic pain will affect your mood, energy levels, sleep, and memory during your day-to-day life. To everyone around you, it may appear that nothing is wrong. Internally, though, you could be experiencing consistent discomfort in one or more parts of your body. In this blog post, we will discuss fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and headache arthritis.


What is Chronic Pain?

Unlike acute injuries, which are caused by sudden events, chronic pain lasts more than 12 weeks. Severe chronic pain may last for 6 months, or even several years.

Chronic pain is a complex body condition. Some experts believe that it is a learned behavioral condition, and the pain begins after an obviously damaging event. There is also a psychological component attached to chronic pain.

woman with back pain

Most people develop chronic pain because of particular lifestyle choices. Laborers who lift incorrectly and exert stress on their bodies are likely to develop chronic pain. The same applies principle applies to smokers, and those with stressful lifestyles. Patients who suffer from hypochondriasis, major depression or conversion disorder are more prone to developing chronic pain. A Long Island physical therapy office can help patients to mitigate this pain.


Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition that often leads to inexplicable pain throughout the body. Unlike other forms of chronic pain, fibromyalgia causes patients to have an amplified sensitivity to pain. In turn, this makes the day-to-day recovery that much more difficult, especially with severe pre-existing knee, ACL or shoulder pain. Fibromyalgia affects the way your brain processes pain signals. While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, experts believe that genetics, infections, and physical/emotional trauma play a part. Obesity also increases the risk for fibromyalgia. In fact, studies have shown that obese women are 60-70% more likely to develop fibromyalgia than women of normal weight.

fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia Treatments

A Long Island physical therapist will determine a unique treatment plan for fibromyalgia based on your individual conditions. Many treatments include a multi-faceted approach, with pain relievers, anti-depressants, physical/occupational therapy, and counseling. Other standard health factors – such as proper sleep patterns, regular exercise and reduced stress – will also decrease fibromyalgia. Receiving Long Island physical therapy and following through with a prescribed home exercise program is critical as well. Because fibromyalgia increases pain, these treatments are tailored to reduce chronic pain and improve quality of life. These treatments often include strengthening, stretching and stabilization.


Myofascial Chronic Pain

What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition in which applying pressure to sensitive muscle points leads to pain. Applying pressure to these sensitive areas may also lead to referral pain, or pain in another area of the body. This pain usually seems unrelated to an injury, with an unknown cause.

This pain can occur due to repetitive movements, or stress related muscle tension. Often, symptoms of myofascial pain include deep, achy muscles, difficulty sleeping, pain that gradually worsens, and a tender knot in the muscles. Receiving Long Island physical therapy is crucial to eliminating this pain.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatments

Incorporating more healthy practices within your lifestyle will go a long way in improving chronic pain. A Long Island physical therapy office can recommend many positive practices to relieve this pain.

Stretching regularly and maintaining proper posture will go a long way in preventing this pain from developing. Implemented correctly, these treatments will direct blood flow to the area. This blood carries oxygen, which the body uses to prevent spasms and muscle tension, while also decreasing inflammation.

myofascial pain treatment

Modalities, such as massage, ultrasound and heat therapy can be used to break this muscle spasm cycle. Dry needling is also a common treatment for myofascial pain syndrome. With this intervention, needles are inserted in and around the trigger point to release the muscle tension. Some doctors believe myofascial pain syndrome can become fibromyalgia if it persists. Receiving care from a Long Island physical therapy office will prevent this.


Headache Arthritis

Thanks to awareness campaigns, employers and individuals are more likely to recognize headaches as a legitimate source of pain. People who suffer from chronic headaches experience them at least 15 days each month for three months. In addition to the existing pain, chronic headaches may also cause:

  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitivity to light

These chronic headaches also have a range of causes, including:

  • Inflammation
  • Infections
  • Poor posture
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Medicine reaction
  • Caffeine
man with headache

In our society, there are more headache triggers than one might think. Leaning forward during activities such as texting, sitting at a desk and puts additional stress on the neck. In fact, the head projects about ten pounds of force on the neck for every inch that one leans forward. This stress leads to muscle tension, which causes a particular type of headache. To help your Long Island physical therapy office diagnose the issue, patients should keep a headache diary. These diaries should include details relating to timing, duration, intensity, diet, and activities.


Long Island Physical Therapy

Nobody should be forced to go through life with untreated chronic pain. At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, our physical therapists are experienced in helping patients to overcome this pain. Contact us to learn about how continued physical therapy treatment can eliminate chronic pain.

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