Chronic Pain and Pain Management

Pain is the most common reason for seeking medical care, and it doesn’t always work in the traditional ways. Sometimes it can linger for days, weeks, or even months due to an underlying condition. When pain persists for three months or longer, that is referred to as “chronic pain.” Chronic pain is also the most common reason why people choose our physical therapy practice for help. If you are considering physical therapy for pain, call Med Center Therapy to schedule a consultation.

Difference Between Chronic And Acute Pain

Acute pain can be defined as pain that goes away on its own in a few hours, days, or weeks. Examples may include ligament sprain, a muscle or tendon strain, inflammation within a joint, or a tear of a muscle, tendon, or meniscus, as the pain will subside shortly within a few days. Even if you have to wear a brace for a few weeks until it’s healed, you would also be experiencing acute pain. Chronic pain is a constant discomfort that lasts for 3-6 months (or 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 for seeking medical help. It can greatly hinder your quality of life by limiting your mobility, creating a dependence on prescription drugs, or even causing anxiety and depression. However, this can all be avoided with the help of physical therapy.

Common Causes of Chronic Pain

Most cases of chronic pain stem from the musculoskeletal system. This includes your muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues. Chronic pain can appear in the form of back pain, joint pain, nerve pain, or headaches. It most commonly occurs due to one of the following causes:
  • Overuse Injuries in any part of the body that is used repetitively in your day-to-day life. This may result from standing, walking, working, and exercising without using proper techniques. These daily activities can result in damage to your joints and muscles, thus causing chronic pain.
  • Accidents can lead to chronic pain, whether it occurs in an automobile, workplace, or even in your own home. 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
  • Surgery is sometimes unavoidable. While they may be necessary for alleviating certain conditions you are facing, the recovery period can be just as painful. Surgical repair of an area of the body is enough to correct a structural problem, but compensatory movement following surgery often causes additional pain after surgery if the movement is not corrected.
  • Disease, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, shingles, neuropathy as a result of diabetes, and more can all result in chronic pain.

How Can Aquatic Therapy Help Relieve Chronic Pain?

It is true that physical therapy can help decrease scar tissue and shorten the time spent recovering after surgery. However, 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. Physical Therapists at Med Center Therapy are highly-trained movement experts who conduct thorough physical evaluations with each of their patients, analyze weak areas of the body, focus on places with limited range of motion, and look for any imbalances in gait or standing. All of this helps them identify the underlying causes of your chronic pain. At Med Center Therapy, our therapeutic pools are kept at 94 degrees to promote soothing and relaxation of muscles. This increase in mobility allows our licensed therapists to perform hands-on treatment to painlessly mobilize the spine and reduce muscle tightness on areas contributing to chronic pain. In addition, hydrostatic pressure provides support the body that will aid in neuromuscular reeducation when correcting imbalances in gait or posture that contribute to chronic pain. Our Physical Therapists will provide a personalized plan of care that may include targeted exercise to increase strength, stretching to improve balance, or manual therapy to relieve pain, decrease scar tissue, and improve movement. Your treatment plan will incorporate aquatic and land physical therapy targeted to getting you on the right track toward long-lasting pain relief. If you are interested in relieving your chronic pain through aquatic and physical therapy, Contact Us Med Center Therapy today, and one of our dedicated physical therapists would be happy to meet with you.

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