For someone whose body has been affected by chronic pain due to disease or injury, physiotherapy is often used to restore function movement and mobility. Here, our Stittsville physiotherapists explain chronic pain and when physiotherapy may be appropriate.
Do you suffer from chronic pain? You probably find that leading an active, comfortable life is difficult.
Chronic conditions and illnesses can last for days, weeks, months or even years. They can impact our ability to perform everything from simple chores and tasks to challenging physical activities.
These conditions are often ongoing and/or unpredictable, making it a battle to maintain productivity, focus and mental health. It can feel like there's an internal battle going on with your own mind and body.
Unfortunately, chronic pain negatively affects the lives of millions of Canadians. However, strategies and treatments such as physiotherapy can help people with chronic conditions and illnesses manage their symptoms.
In this post, we'll define chronic pain and explain how chronic pain treatment at our physiotherapy clinic in Stittsville works.
Definition of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or longer, and can occur due to numerous issues ranging from injuries to disease and surgical procedures.
It can persist after the tissues have healed and can impact both physical and emotional health. Effects can range from limited mobility and tense muscles to depression, anxiety, fear of re-injury and anger.
When pain sets in suddenly and is sharp in quality. This is called acute pain and typically disappears on its own after a few hours, days or weeks. For example, a burn, cut, pulled muscle, fracture bone or bruise can cause acute pain.
This kind of pain does not last longer than six months, and vanishes when the underlying cause of pain has been treated or has healed.
Your doctor may recommend supplementary treatments to help alleviate both acute and chronic pain to help improve quality of life and reduce your suffering.
What causes chronic pain?
Chronic injury, diabetes, depression and anxiety can exist comorbidly and leave your neurological system on high alert. Our nerves, head, back and joints can all be plagued by chronic pain. Many chronic pain conditions are caused by one of the following:
- Diseases such as arthritis, shingles, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and neuroptahy due to diabetes
- Overuse injuries from incorrect exercise, posture or movement techniques
- Workplace injuries due to slips, trips and falls
How does physiotherapy work?
One of our physiotherapists in Stittsville can conduct a thorough assessment to determine the underlying cause of your pain and dysfunction. They can then create a custom treatment plan to help you overcome your pain or injury.
With physiotherapy, one of our primary goals is to treat and manage the underlying cause of pain, rather than use drugs to mask symptoms. While a physiotherapist does try to prevent disease and injury, they can also help treat chronic degenerative conditions and help patients recover from surgical procedures.
Treatment for chronic pain may entail both in-clinic and at-home therapy. Your specific recovery plan will be tailored to your needs.
Common approaches our physiotherapists use include:
- Education and advice on correct lifting, carrying techniques and improving posture
- Movement, tailored exercise and guidance related to physical activity
- Manual or massage therapy to relieve pain and stiffness and encourage better movement throughout the body.
How can physiotherapy help?Along with providing education and preventing, treating and managing pain, physiotherapists can help improve your mobility and quality of life by:
- Increasing strength and range of motion
- Optimizing balance and coordination
- Helping to avoid surgery
- Improving cardiovascular function and lung capacity
- Managing heart and diabetic conditions
- Easing pregnancy and post-partum care
- Improving mental and physical health at every age
When is physiotherapy right for me?Physiotherapy is often recommended for many health issues and conditions, including:
- Neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or spinal chord injury
- Orthopedic conditions that impact the joints and bones including fractures, back pain and sprains
- Childhood disorders such as muscular dystrophy
- Geriatric conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis and more
- Sports injuries
- Restore mobility following surgery or hospital care
- Assist with rehabilitation following motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries or heart attacks
Physiotherapy can play an integral role in managing and treating chronic pain, whether yours is due to an injury or ongoing health condition.
Our physiotherapists at Motion Works Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Centre in Stittsville can develop a customized program for you based on your specific prevention, recovery and treatment requirements.