4 Steps to Help You Manage Chronic Pain
If you suffer from chronic pain, you’re probably tired of trying to ‘push through the pain’ or just having to ‘deal with it’ on a daily basis. Trying to ignore chronic pain isn’t only exhausting, it doesn’t work. At our Capital Area Physical Therapy clinics in Queensbury and Malta NY, we provide support and therapeutic solutions to help our patients manage chronic pain and keep it from coming back.
Understand Your Pain
According to Prevention Health, there are 50 million people in chronic pain, and three out of four don’t get treatment. Many of them don’t reach out for help because they don’t realize pain relief is possible. The fact is that each person’s brain responds differently to pain. If you have a back injury, the problem is NOT about which tissues are inflamed or which areas are ‘out of alignment’. The body does not work this way. While pain signals originate in the back, how they affect the brain varies from person to person due to several reasons.
Your Capital Area Physical Therapist may ask you questions and perform tests to better understand your pain. They might ask some of the following:
- What activities cause the pain to become worse?
- What does it feel like?
- Describe the pain on a scale of 0 to 10 in the past 24 hours.
- Describe a time when the pain was at its worst.
- What was happening the last time you experienced little to no pain?
Your answers can determine treatment and exercises that help you both heal and learn new ways of moving to avoid future discomfort.
When one part of your body hurts, sometimes the last thing you want to do is move it. Staying active can build strength, improve circulation and prevent stiffness from setting in.
When you start any new physical activity, some discomfort is normal. That doesn’t mean you should stop. Sometimes discomfort makes people worry they might make an existing injury worse. If you’re not sure if what you’re feeling is normal or a sign you’re doing something wrong, your physical therapist can help you determine the difference between muscle soreness and pain.
Exercise keeps joints moving, strengthens muscles, improves mental health, and prevents weight gain that can make chronic pain worse. Aerobic exercise like walking or cycling can build stamina and reduce stiffness. Water-based activities help even when weight-bearing exercises aren’t possible.
Address Depression and Anxiety
People with chronic pain often also struggle with mood disorders. When you’re in pain, it can make you depressed and when you have depression, pain seems even worse. Mood disorders like anxiety and depression can also make you more sensitive to pain medication side effects.
Often people with mood disorders and chronic pain can take one medication to treat both symptoms. Talk to your physician and physical therapist about your mental health throughout your recovery so they can help you address problems as they come up.
Work with a Physical Therapist who has experience in treating chronic pain
When you feel pain that doesn’t go away, a qualified physical therapist can help reduce your pain and restore normal function. At Capital Area Physical Therapy and Wellness, we offer specialized treatment for a wide range of injuries and conditions that lead to chronic pain.
For more information on how to reduce or manage chronic pain with physical therapy, contact us at 518-289-5242 (Malta) or 518-502-1154 (Queensbury) physical therapy clinics. Serving Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, Malta, Lake George region.