Chronic pain affects more than 100 million people in the U.S. and 20-30% of the global population, reports the National Institutes of Health Office of Disease Prevention. Moreover, experts predict chronic pain prevalence is expected to increase in the coming years due to the aging population, the increase in diabetes, and the increase in cancer survival rates. Finding relief for pain also continues to evolve. Medical providers are more concerned about the use of narcotics and opioids. Understanding more about chronic pain and obtaining physical therapy can help alleviate your pain.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Although pain is a natural way for the body to warn a person of a problem, it can become unbearable. Chronic pain persists for weeks, months, or even years explains the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. When pain is unrelenting, it impacts daily life. Chronic pain may include pain associated with arthritis, cancers, infection, and even when no past injury or health problem exists. Furthermore, chronic pain generally affects the back or a specific muscle group. 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in life. It is found that women suffer more than men.
What Causes of Chronic Pain?
Treating chronic pain means understanding the original cause. For example, someone could have injured themselves in a sport. This could have caused tissue damage that never healed. Post-injury aggravation could re-ignite the pain. Examples could be poor posture, obesity, arthritis, Of course, another cause includes damage to the muscle or a ligament, also known as strains and sprains respectively. Health problems may increase the risk for damage to joints and muscles as well, contributing to a loss of motion and the buildup of tension. For those without a root problem, turning to medications can feel like the only solution. However, a quick scan of recent news reports reveals many dangers exist in medication treatment for chronic pain, especially opioids.
Ways Physical Therapy Reduces Chronic Pain
As opioid overuse became a public health crisis, health providers started to think about other ways to manage chronic pain. According to Move Forward PT, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends the use of non-drug approaches overuse of prescription painkillers.
Unlike medications, which are only a bandage over the pain, physical therapy works to address the root problem. Since causes of chronic are often associated with damage to a joint or muscle group, improving the range of motion of joints may improve symptoms. In this case, more movement of joints encourages the body’s natural response to improve mobility and muscle tone, endurance, and strength. As a result, pain decreases.
For people with known injuries, treating injuries with physical therapy serves additional purposes. These include improving circulation to the joint and tissues to promote healing, as well as helping a person learn to move the joint without risking additional damage. The long car ride is an example of how failure to move frequently contributes to soreness. Over time, limited motion will cause pain during movement. So, routine treatment with a physical therapist can lower the risk for chronic pain, and improve symptoms for those living with pain today.
Stop Living in Pain With Physical Therapy Treatment for Chronic Pain Now
To learn more about how therapy could help with your chronic pain, schedule your complimentary evaluation with Optimal Physical today.