Chronic Pain Relief
Corey N, Lihue
The team at Hawaii Sports and Balance Center has made a significant difference in my overall health. The professional care...
Have you been suffering from a persistent, relentless pain that’s hindering your physical abilities? 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 possibility of sustaining a serious injury.
However, pain doesn’t always work in the traditional ways. 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 Hawaii Sports and Balance Center in Kauai 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 out medical help. Those suffering from chronic pain may have their quality of life greatly hindered, as they may experience limited mobility, a dependence on prescription drugs, or even anxiety and depression. However, all of this can be avoided 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. Back pain, headaches, nerve pain, and joint pain can all become chronic if they last for three months or longer. 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 in excessive repetitive motions 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. This can result in damage to your joints and muscles, thus causing chronic pain. 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.
Kauai 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. By doing so, we are able 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 treatments, 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 Us Today at Lihue, HI Center. Any of our dedicated Kauai physical therapists would be happy to meet with you and get you started on the right track toward long-lasting pain relief.