Chronic Pain Relief
Have you been suffering from a persistent, relentless pain that’s hindering your physical ability to get through your day? If so, you can find relief through physical therapy treatments.
Pain is a necessary reaction that our bodies have that tells us when something is wrong, and it should be respected. If you accidentally touch a hot stove surface, your immediate reaction will be to pull your hand away because of the pain touching the hot stoved caused. This is a physical reaction to the pain and your brain knows that if your keep your hand there any longer, there will be a serious injury.
However, pain does not always work in the traditional way. Sometimes pain is due to an underlying condition that you have no control over and can linger for days, weeks, or even months. When pain persists for three months or longer, it is referred to as “chronic pain.” If you have been suffering from chronic pain and you are seeking relief, contact Eastside Sports Rehabilitation Clinic in Bellevue, WA today to schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists.
What’s the difference between chronic and acute pain?
Acute pain is a temporary pain that goes away on its own within a few hours, days, or weeks. The example of touching a hot surface would be considered acute pain, since it would subside shortly after you pull your hand away. Another example of acute pain would be if you accidentally sprain your wrist and you have to wear a brace for a few weeks until it’s healed.
Chronic pain is a constant discomfort that can last for 3-6 months (or even longer!), despite your best efforts to relieve it. There are several reasons why people may experience chronic pain, and it is the most common reason why people seek medical help. Those suffering from chronic pain may have their quality of life greatly hindered, with limited mobility, a dependence on prescription drugs, or even anxiety and depression. However, all of this can be addressed with the help of physical therapy.
How does chronic pain develop?
The majority of chronic pain cases stem from the musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues. Chronic pain most commonly occurs due to one of the following causes:
- Accidents – Any accident can lead to chronic pain, whether it occurs in the workplace, in a motor vehicle, or even in your own home. According to a 2016 statistic found by OSHA, workplace injuries happen to approximately 2.9 out of every 100 employees. Additionally, a study published in a journal called Pain, determined that 21% of people involved in motor vehicle accidents develop chronic, widespread pain in the weeks following their accident. While this pain won’t go away on its own, seeking the help of a physical therapist can help in alleviating it.
- Overuse Injuries – Overuse injuries are extremely common, and they can occur when part of the body is used excessively over a period of time. For example, your stance, your gait, your posture, or even the ways in which you work or exercise can all take a toll on your body. Most overuse injuries occur when improper techniques are used, causing an abnormal strain on the affected body part. 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 numerous diseases that can lead to chronic pain. Just a few of these include arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis. The chronic pain experienced from these conditions can range from dull to severe, but it can be managed or even alleviated all together with physical therapy.
- Surgery – While it is unfortunate, 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.
How can I relieve my chronic pain?
Many people assume that physical therapy is only used for post-surgical procedures; however, physical therapy can also be used to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain. It is true that physical therapy can help decrease scar tissue and shorten the time spent recovering after surgery, but one of the main goals of physical therapy is pain relief – which can be applied to any source of pain, whether it is post-operative or not.
Bellevue, WA physical therapists are highly-trained movement experts who can diagnose physical problems and any underlying structural causes surrounding or contributing to those problems. We conduct thorough physical evaluations by focusing on places with limited range of motion, analyzing weak areas of the body, and looking for any imbalances in gait or standing. This helps to identify the underlying causes of your chronic pain.
Once the physical evaluation is complete, your physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs. This will likely include manual therapy to relieve your pain, decrease scar tissue, and improve movement. It may also include targeted exercises to increase strength and stretching to improve your balance. Your treatment plan will incorporate in-clinic treatments, as well as at-home programs, in order to ensure that you are remaining healthy and active at all times. If you are interested in relieving your chronic pain through physical therapy, contact Eastside Sports Rehabilitation Clinic today. Any of our dedicated Bellevue, WA physical therapists would be happy to meet with you and get you started on the right track toward long-lasting pain relief.