is a serious problem in society. It does not take research to know that as the amount of pain an individual experiences, the lower their quality of life (but research does support this, anyway). Thankfully, we live in a world that is constantly educating and employing professionals that care for everyone’s well-being. With that, these professionals endure each day so that they may provide evidence-based treatments for the people that struggle with chronic pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
Your routine and your daily choices come to a freeze because of a fractured ankle. The surgery and recovery take you about 3-6 months, and by that point your physical therapist has encouraged you to have stronger ankle muscles and bone density to prevent this from ever occurring again. The acute
pain from this situation hopefully does not follow you any longer at this point.
You begin to notice a lingering ache, though, and all of a sudden standing for longer than an hour leaves your ankle sore, and radiating pain begins to travel up your leg. This persistent, stubborn, and repeated pain
has a name: chronic pain.
Recent research indicates that more than 1.5 billion
people worldwide deal with chronic pain, which only increases as the general population ages.1
This can accompany various diseases and injuries including but not limited to:
- Acute Injuries
- Heart Disease
When the chronic pain begins to hold you back from your daily routine, prevent your overall movement, and hinder your mental health, it is time to invest in your overall wellness. Millions
of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and this results in a cyclic financial burden for various drugs, other health care payments, and lost work time and productivity. It is estimated that the total annual cost in the health care system can reach $635 billion
The hope at Mid-County Physical Therapy is to help you regain control over your pain and your life, and overall halt the pain.
The Dangers of Chronic Pain
Other than the financial afflictions, another unfortunate byproduct of chronic pain is the increasing amount of individuals that become addicted to prescription pain-killers. The Office of National Drug Control Policy states that prescription drugs are not only a leading abused substance, but they are also a leading contributor to the total number of drug deaths.1
More people receive these drugs by medical professionals in an effort to control their chronic pain, and oftentimes there is a disconnect between providing education and prescribing other drug-free treatment options.
Addiction, along with chronic pain, can put tremendous strain on a person. At this point, is is imperative that the individual seeks treatment and assistance via their primary care physician, psychologist, therapist, and other healthcare professionals. The individuals in these fields care deeply for your wellness, and so it is their goal to counter the desire to continue abusing prescription medications. In an effort to do this, they may suggest and conduct a variety of treatments for the chronic pain.
The multitude of therapies seem endless, and a majority include positive, beneficial impacts on the people that choose them. An important consideration is that pain is internally experienced, and very diverse. Because of this, the types of therapies one accepts can work across many types of chronic pain, or it may be individualized. Pain relief takes patience and determination. This list includes many but not all of the possible treatments and therapies associated with chronic pain management and relief. Each description will include links to a more detailed page on the treatment.
- Physical Therapy
- Physical Therapists are trained to provide treatments that include flexibility and strengthening exercises, manual treatment, massage, and even posture education. One of their greatest assets that arms their patients for future bouts of chronic pain is the training and coaching necessary to create more awareness of the pain triggers and relievers. Physical Therapy is the present and future of chronic pain management. These trained professionals dedicate themselves to a life of setting goals and encouraging progress. Mid-County Physical Therapy is committed to our patients’ wellness, and if chronic pain is something they struggle with, Mid-County wants to assist you as much as possible. Physical Therapists also employ various modalities such as ultrasound, kinesiotape, and others to assist.
- Mid-County offers a this treatment service to prevent chronic pain. Read more about this treatment here.
- This simple, invasive treatment uses filiform needles to access trigger points in the muscles. Mid-County offers this service. Pain oftentimes originates from muscuoskeletal injury, and with the help of this revolutionary treatment, this is an option for many individuals experiencing pain. Read more about Dry-Needling here.
- Pain impacts the physical, emotional, and social parts of one’s being. Yoga focuses on the intellectual and spiritual improvement and control over one’s body, and therefore their pain. There is incredible research that states that certain movements in yoga can cause pain to subside, and improve overall wellness. A thorough, impressive review of Yoga on pain management can be found here.
- Whether an individual’s chronic pain began as a symptom of a mental illness or a physical injury, therapy can be a vital aspect to overcoming this obstacle. The therapist may help discover underlying causes of pain, and can contribute to the emotional endurance of their patients. Therapy is not an easy fix, however. This requires a solid relationship between the therapist and their patient so that they may achieve success together. Read more about chronic pain and therapy here.
- There is even group therapy for those who choose to lean on their community for support.
- Balneotherapy is the use of mineralized baths to treat disease. This natural treatment has supporting research. This may be available at local spas.
- Massage Therapy
- The art of touch, massage, and physical comfort has healing powers that are not necessarily quantifiable. Physical Therapists and Massage Therapists are specialized in mobilizing areas affected by pain, and can prove vital to one’s pain relief. The American Massage Therapy Association’s website provides more information on this treatment.
- Whether you choose meditation to control the pain from the disease or injury, or if you use it to prevent it from impacting your mental health state, meditation is a powerful and internal tool used for chronic pain management.
- Exercise releases endorphins which can provide pain relief. Under guidance from a professional, exercise in one’s routine may become a powerful tool in their pain management arsenal.
- Cell-Based Therapy
- Treatments such as PRP, molecular transporters, and various other biological components may be the future of the medical field. Read more about these budding treatments here.
- This wavelength of light can penetrate deep into damaged tissues that may cause pain. The light helps increase circulation and soft-tissue healing. Read more here.
- The American Academy of Pain Medicine. AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain. Pain Center. http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx. Accessed September 13, 2017.
If you have ideas for pain management that were not expressed here, leave them in the comments below.