Chronic pain is pain that lasts for over three months. The pain can be there all the time, or it may come and go. It can happen anywhere in your body. Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities, such as working, having a social life and taking care of yourself or others. It can lead to depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping, which can make your pain worse. This response creates a cycle that can be difficult to break.
What areas of the body are affected if you suffer from chronic pain?
Chronic pain can come in many different forms and appear across your body. Common types of chronic pain include:
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Cancer pain near a tumour
- Headaches, including migraines
- Testicular pain
- Lasting pain in scar tissue
- Muscle pain all over such as with fibromyalgia
- Neurogenic pain, from damage to the nerves or other parts of the nervous system.
In order to break the chronic pain cycle, we need to target the factor that is causing the pain. However, there is a difference between the pain from the initial injury, and the residual pain that continues to feed into the pain cycle. Once the injury to the tissues (e.g. contusion, fracture, sprain, strain) has healed, any residual pain we continue to experience is actually a result of the way our brain perceives the pain and the mixed messages being sent to it. It is possible to break or change this cycle of how pain controls your life.
How Physiotherapy can help?
Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, as it can help to reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Some specific ways that a physiotherapist might be able to help you manage your chronic pain on a daily basis include:
Stretching can help to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension, which can help to reduce pain. Our physiotherapists can recommend specific stretches for you to do at home, or they may guide you through stretches during your therapy sessions.
Strong muscles can help to support and stabilize your joints, which can help to reduce pain and improve function. The physiotherapist may recommend specific exercises to help you build strength and endurance in the muscles around your painful joints.
Manual therapy techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, and myofascial release can help to reduce muscle tension, improve range of motion, and reduce pain. These techniques may be used during your therapy sessions to help manage your chronic pain.
Modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation can be used to help manage pain and inflammation. The physiotherapist may recommend using these treatments at home or may use them during your therapy sessions.
Our physiotherapists can also provide education about how to manage your chronic pain, including techniques such as relaxation and stress management. They can also provide guidance on how to modify your daily activities to reduce strain on your painful joints and help you to live a more comfortable and active life.
In conclusion, physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, helping to reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Through a variety of techniques such as stretching, strengthening, manual therapy, modalities, and education, our physiotherapists can work with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.
If you are in pain or would like to talk to us about getting some help or some specialist advice, our Physiotherapists at Home Physio Group can create a personalised program for you.
For more information please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.