8 Ways Physiotherapy Can Help Manage Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is unfortunately a common condition we see people suffering with and can often be poorly understood. In this blog we discuss chronic pain, what it is and the ways in which physiotherapy can help to manage it.
what is chronic pain?
Put simply, chronic pain is pain that has lasted for a long time.
Following an injury, the body usually repairs itself after a period. Chronic pain is the pain that remains even once the body has finished healing and repairing itself. It can also be due to an ongoing or underlying problem, condition or illness that causes pain.
Chronic pain is no longer helpful, and it does not protect us, as there is no new tissue damage causing the pain anymore. There are many misconceptions around chronic pain, and stopping activity will not help to manage chronic pain.
The role of physiotherapy with Chronic pAIN
Physiotherapy can be very beneficial for managing chronic pain, and it can offer a multifaceted approach to pain management. Here are 8 ways physiotherapy can help with chronic pain management and how the clinicians at Summit Physiotherapy can help you…
1. COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT
With all of our patients we do a comprehensive assessment (for any injury, whether it is causing acute pain and is a new injury, or a chronic pain).
Here at Summit Physiotherapy, we conduct a thorough assessment to try to determine what is the root cause of the chronic pain. We take a comprehensive subjective and objective assessment which is very important in identifying underlying issues before creating a personalised treatment plan.
Physiotherapy can be great for chronic pain management, and treating underlying conditions, but for some people chronic pain is a part of life for which pain management is crucial.
2. CUSTOMISED EXERCISE PROGRAMME
We will then design a customised exercise programme that will help with chronic pain management.
Remember; stopping exercise and movement completely is not beneficial when treating chronic pain. A bespoke exercise programme will aim to help to improve mobility, flexibility and strength that may have been lost during periods of chronic pain, whilst relieving pain in some cases.
We encourage our patients to partake in enjoyable movement and exercise as there is a strong link with that and improving chronic pain. Alongside targeted exercises for chronic pain relief, enjoyable movement for each individual is encouraged and our clinicians at Summit will work with each individual to find a plan that works best for them.
Exercise is also great for helping with mental wellbeing which can often be affected and impacted by chronic pain.
3. Manual Therapies
Manual therapies such as joint mobilisations or soft tissue massage can be beneficial for chronic pain.
If your clinician finds that there is stiffness in joints or tightness in surrounding soft tissue, they will often apply some form of hands-on manual therapy. These can be very beneficial at improving flexibility, increasing tissue extensibility, reducing joint stiffness, and therefore helping to reduce pain levels and improve function.
Massage therapy can be a good way to assist your management in chronic pain. Massage can be great at relieving muscle tension, increasing blood flow and improving flexibility all of which can benefit chronic pain.
4. Shockwave Therapy
We now offer Shockwave Therapy in both our Chorley and Wrightington clinics.
Research has found that Shockwave Therapy can be very effective at treating some chronic conditions, and therefore great at helping to manage chronic pain.
Shockwave Therapy works by taking degenerative/injured tendons back to the acute stages of injury, where then (usually with an appropriate loading exercise programme) helps the tendon to regenerate and become more robust to daily living and activity.
This means that when you do your daily activities and any extra exercises, you could be in much less pain when doing so.
5. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Alongside the Shockwave Therapy, we also have a state-of-the-art Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) chamber based at our Chorley clinic.
We have had many medical professionals endorse this for a number of conditions including chronic pain. The hyperbaric chamber involves breathing in pure oxygen in a pressurised environment so your lungs can gather much more oxygen than would be possible under normal atmospheric circumstances.
When this happens circulation and oxygenation increases, energy levels are enhanced, recovery improves, stress and anxiety can improve, and importantly inflammation and pain can reduce.
6. education & understanding chronic pain
Education around pain management and pain management strategies are key in the tailored treatment of clients that suffer with chronic pain.
As previously mentioned, chronic pain can be misunderstood, poorly explained, and confused with other injuries. Our clinicians will take lots of time to educate each client on their condition, and we truly believe the better a client can understand their pain, the better the outcome.
Our clinicians will offer advice and education around pain management strategies, lifestyle changes, postural improvement, and stress reduction techniques. Our clinicians are here to support you, and patient education and explaining chronic pain, and pain management is one of the many ways our clinicians will support you.
7. Gait Analysis
We also offer assistive devices and orthotics at our Chorley clinic. If you have been suffering with chronic pain for a long time, this could have resulted in your gait being affected.
The gait analysis produces data that can either be used to add relevant corrective exercises to a custom exercise programme or can be used to create custom 3d printed orthotics if required.
As well as improving strength and stability, orthotics can be a great way to improve gait and foot posture which may be contributing to pain.
8. The Summit Physio ApproacH
As was written previously, here at Summit we are here to help and support you with your chronic pain. Our clinicians genuinely care about your pain and are well placed to refer to other health professionals should that be necessary and appropriate.
The education we provide alongside our support and proactive approach to recovery and wellbeing, can really help with mental wellbeing if you are suffering with chronic pain.
In some cases, ongoing care and management is necessary with chronic pain management. Regular monitoring may be required for the best outcome for chronic pain, and we regularly reassess you and touch base so we can progress your improvement as effectively as possible.
Our clinicians at Summit Physiotherapy will always want the best for you and the best level of improvement for your chronic pain. We pride ourselves in developing the best plan for long-term strategies for pain control and improved quality of life.
If you wish to seek further help or speak to a practitioner about chronic pain management, call us on 0800 731 2738 or book online here.