chronic pain

Chronic Pain

Sometimes after an injury, for reasons that are not completely known, pain can continue to persist longer than the expected period of healing. The experience of pain is not simply a distress signal from an injured tissue. It is actually quite complex, and depends upon a whole laundry list of things including:

The circumstances of the injury: If you sprained your ankle while crossing a street, and had to immediately run to get out of the way of a speeding car, you may not notice your ankle hurting until you safely reach the other side.

The emotional state of the sufferer: Anxiety about pain, general depression, or fear of further injury can increase the likelihood of having persistent pain

The state of the nervous system: If nervous tissue is injured, it recovers slowly, is easily irritated, and takes a long time to subside once provoked.

As you can see, the pain experience is a cross-section between the injured tissue, cognition, and the nervous system. It’s easy, then, to see why treatment for chronic pain requires a different set of interventions than the treatment of acute pain patients. In addition to the usual therapeutic interventions such as joint and soft tissue mobilization, joint manipulation, or strengthening exercises, your therapist may use different education tools to try to enhance your understanding about the power of your brain to help resolve your condition. Additionally, it can be helpful to learn ways to decrease the excitability of your nervous system.

At Essential Physical Therapy, we know how hard it can be to recover from chronic pain, and how it can affect each part of your life. That’s why we often seek expertise from other practitioners. We work together with you and your doctor to create a team that may include: physical therapy, pain counseling, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, and yoga.

It can be a long road to recovery for people suffering from chronic pain, but rest assured, you will be heard, and respected, and your recovery from pain will be the goal of your whole team.

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