Chronic pain is a very common condition affecting over 3 million people per year. It can occur practically anywhere in the body and can range from feeling like a dull ache to sharp pain. Although sometimes there is no obvious cause for the pain that doesn’t mean nothing can be done. Physical therapy can help!
5 Tips to Help Manage Chronic Pain
- Knowledge is power. Recent evidence suggests that understanding how pain works is a key strategy for managing it. Just knowing the basics of how our brain and nervous system work and their role in pain, can decrease your chance of developing chronic symptoms.
- Keep moving (gradually and steadily). Living an active, healthy lifestyle not only improves our general health but can also reduce our chances of developing chronic pain.
- Spend time with a physical therapist. If you have experienced an injury, or develop the onset of pain, seeing a physical therapist early on can help manage your symptoms. Physical therapists are movement experts who optimize your quality of life through exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. Seeing a physical therapist early can greatly reduce your chances of developing chronic symptoms.
- Focus less on the image. While most of us want a diagnostic image (ie, x-ray, MRI) to tell us why we are in pain, images actually give us little information about what is causing pain. A recent study performed on individuals 60 years or older, who had no back pain, showed that more than 90% had disc degeneration or a disc bulge. This indicates that these things are part of the normal aging process and are not necessarily what is causing your symptoms. Once a serious condition has been ruled out it is a good idea to see a physical therapist.
- Take time to focus on yourself. Your mental state plays a huge role in how pain is perceived in the body. Recent studies suggest that depression and anxiety can lead to long term pain following an injury or procedure. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your medical provider.
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If you are experiencing pain we can help! Schedule a free screen with our office to learn what a physical therapist can do for you.
Brence, J. Retrieved from https://www.choosept.com/resources/detail/top-5-tips-to-avoid-chronic-pain.