Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain is not only a physical condition, but it can also take a toll on your emotional health and well-being. It affects every part of your life, keeping you from enjoying your daily physical activities. Fortunately, physical therapy has been clinically proven to dramatically improve your body’s ability to function without pain. Call us today to find out more about what physical therapists do to eliminate chronic pain.

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What is Chronic Pain?

Pain is an indicator of an injury to a muscle, tendon, bone, or nerve. Any time you are injured, pain signals travel from the nerves near the injury to your spinal cord and brain. Usually, once the injury begins to heal, the pain signals stop. Chronic pain occurs when your body keeps sending pain signals to your brain, sometimes long after the injury has healed. It can last several weeks, several years or even a lifetime. Chronic pain may be dull or intermittent, sharp or steady. It affects every person’s ability to move differently and can make it difficult to engage in normal tasks such as walking, running, standing, dressing, driving, or even working.

Are there Different Types of Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. While it can originate from an injury such as a car accident or slip and fall, other types of pain are associated with illness or other medical conditions.

  • Nociceptive Pain – Nociceptive pain is found in the muscles and soft tissues of the body. It is also sometimes called somatic pain. Back pain, pelvic pain, arthritis, and headaches are all examples of nociceptive pain. These conditions respond well to physical therapy on its own. In fact, many physical therapy modalities have been shown to reduce or eliminate nociceptive.
  • Neuropathic Pain – You have millions of nerve endings and branches that run throughout your body. When these nerves are damaged from injury, illness or surgery, the resulting pain is called neuropathic pain. Often, neuropathic pain is more intense and described as a sharp or stabbing feeling. Pain associated with mastectomy or amputation and diabetic neuropathy are examples of neuropathic pain. Combining physical therapy with electro therapies found in a physical therapist’s office can diminish or relieve neuropathy.

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How Can You Treat Chronic Pain?

One of the fastest ways to relieve acute pain from an injury is to prescribe an anti-inflammatory or other pain medication. While these medications offer short-term relief, many people find themselves dependent on them even after short-term use. That is why prescription medications are not often prescribed for chronic pain. There are better options for treating this type of pain that does not create dependency or further limit your function. Physical therapy’s primary goal is to increase your flexibility, function, and strength gradually while reducing your overall pain. Some specific treatment options that may be used include:

Education to improve your understanding of chronic pain — how it occurs, and what you can do to make positive changes.. Your therapist will teach you how to manage your pain and help you work toward performing your normal daily activities again.

Strengthening and flexibility exercises to help you move more easily with less discomfort. Your therapist will design a program of exercises for your individualized needs — movements that are gradually increased according to your abilities. Graded exercises help you improve your coordination and movement, reducing the stress and strain on your body, and decreasing your pain. Carefully introducing a graded exercise program will help train your brain to sense the problem area in your body without increasing its danger messages that you perceive as harmful.

Manual therapy, which consists of specific, gentle, hands-on techniques that may be used to manipulate or mobilize tight joint structures and soft tissues. Manual therapy is used to increase movement (range of motion), improve the quality of the tissues, and reduce pain.

Posture awareness and body mechanics instruction to help improve your posture and movement. This training helps you learn to use your body more efficiently while performing activities you typically do throughout the day. Your therapist will help you adjust your movement and prolonged sitting and standing positions at work, or when performing chores or recreational activities, to reduce your pain and increase your ability to function.

The use of ice, heat, or electrical stimulation has not been found to be helpful with chronic pain. Your physical therapist, however, will determine if any of these treatments could benefit your unique condition.

Physical Therapy and Chronic Pain

Whether your chronic pain is from an illness, medical condition, old injury, or recent problem, physical therapy can play a vital role in alleviating your discomfort. It begins with a personalized consultation. Our physical therapists will perform a comprehensive exam and uncover the root cause of your ongoing pain. This may include diagnostic imaging, functional testing or discussions with any surgeons. Armed with this information, your physical therapist will begin to create a customized therapy plan to address your needs.

Periodically, your physical therapist will check your progress and adjust your goals to address your changing needs. The journey to overcome chronic pain and recover your body’s function may be long and winding. Fortunately, a qualified physical therapist can provide supportive treatment along the way.

Learn more about how physical therapy services can help you conquer your chronic pain

Request an appointment or call us today at any of our locations: Alpine, Byron Center, Caledonia, Cherry Street, Downtown Grand Rapids, East Kentwood Aquatic Center, East Paris, Hastings, Hudsonville, Jenison, Kentwood (44th Street), Knapp’s Corner, Rivertown, Rockford, Sparta, Standale and Zeeland.

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It was my first time going to physical therapy and I give Advent 5 stars! The staff is super friendly and I couldn’t have asked for a better place! I would definitely recommend them! Thank you for helping me get back on my feet after my accident.

Allen F

I owe my health and well-being to the staff at Advent. Without their help, I would be in a tons of pain. This is an awesome place that cares about you as a person and your health. They give 100%.

Casey S