Individuals living with chronic pain often have trouble carrying out their day-to-day activities. Unfortunately, too many people are resigned to living with this pain without seeking help from health care professionals.
Physical therapists are health care professionals who have the expertise necessary to help individuals dealing with chronic pain. To help you improve your quality of life, physical therapists with the Clinique GOTM team will travel to your home to assess your condition and provide the treatments and follow ups that are tailored to your needs.
What is acute and chronic pain
Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensation and emotional experience that results when tissue is damaged (muscles, bones, skin, etc.). Pain is a subjective concept that is unique to every person who experiences it. There is no way to objectively measure pain.For the purposes of this article, we will be defining acute and chronic pain.
Acute pain: this is the type of pain you feel in certain situations where there is damage to tissue (burns, cuts, stings, sprains, etc.). In these cases, neurons send an alert signal to your brain. This pain generally fades away as your body heals and, in most cases, you can easily treat it with medication or physical means. Acute pain is a normal phenomenon that helps protect you from danger and alerts you when you need treatment because its causes are often easily identifiable.
Chronic pain: chronic pain on the other hand is an abnormal and extended bodily response following an injury. It persists after the injury has healed. Even though it might be related to a specific health condition, its causes may be difficult to identify, making it harder to treat. To be defined as “chronic”, pain must persist for at least three months, or be recurring (several episodes for at least three months).
How can physical therapy help?
A physical therapist is a professional with the expertise necessary to prevent and heal the physical limitations of their clients. These limitations may be caused by health problems that affect the musculoskeletal, neurological, or cardiorespiratory systems. Using physical therapeutic methods, the professional can reduce functional limitations in order to help the client recover and attain an optimal level of physical capabilities and well-being.
In the case of chronic pain, there are several steps to a physical therapist’s intervention.
Evaluating the client’s condition
When helping a client with chronic pain, the physical therapist will first evaluate the type of pain and their current health problems, medical history, and symptoms. The physical therapist will also ask about any other treatments undertaken (medical or other). Treating chronic pain often occurs as part of a multidisciplinary approach which includes the intervention of several professionals.
The physical therapist may also carry out various functional and perceptual tests to assess the client’s posture, neuromusculoskeletal system, etc.
Treating chronic pain
Once the client’s condition has been assessed, the physical therapist will design a treatment plan that may include various elements, including:
- Specific exercises in line with various objectives (stability, strengthening, etc.)
- Manual therapy in order to increase the mobility of certain joints
- Correcting problematic movements, posture, gait, etc.
- Neuromuscular rehabilitation
- Support to help manage pain
- And more
Follow up appointments
Once the treatment plan has begun, follow ups with the physical therapist will allow them to assess their client’s condition and adjust their plan as needed. The number of sessions and total length of the physical therapy treatment will vary in line with every person’s condition.
For more information about our services related to managing chronic pain, please contact our team today.