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Pain Management

Pain Management

What Is Chronic Pain?

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that we usually associate with injury or tissue damage, but can actually be present in the absence of tissue damage as well. Pain can be acute or chronic.

Acute pain lasts for a short time – up to 12 weeks. Chronic pain is any discomfort or unpleasant sensation that lasts for more than 3 months – or beyond an expected normal healing time.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Research finds the following signs may be associated with a chronic pain syndrome:

  • It is easy to begin to fear increased pain when you have a chronic pain condition. As a result, you may begin to avoid activity. You may find that you rely more on family members to help with daily functions.
  • Body stiffness when you try to become more active. Stiffness may make you feel as if your body is less able to perform daily activities
  • Not moving your body results in less tolerance when you want to become more active. If you are inactive for a long time, muscles weaken and shrink from not being used. This can also increase your risk of falling.
  • Decreased circulation. Lack of activity decreases the circulation of much-needed blood to your cells. Tissues in your body may not get as much oxygen as they need. As a result, they may not be as healthy as they can be. This can cause you to feel fatigued, and lack energy
  • Weight gain and/or a worsening of other conditions. Decreased activity can lead to unwanted weight gain. Added pounds and inactivity can aggravate symptoms of other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Chronic pain conditions are also commonly associated with feelings of anxiety or depression.
  • Increased use of medication. Chronic pain patients can have the tendency to increase their medication over time to seek relief.

 

A physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation. He or she will assess symptoms, functional limitations; perform test and measures and movement dysfunctions.

Your physical therapist will work with your physician to provide the best diagnosis and treatment for your chronic pain.