People who suffer from chronic pain frequently find it difficult to lead an active, comfortable life.
Chronic conditions and illnesses can plague our bodies for days, weeks, months — even years — and impact our ability to carry out simple tasks and chores. Ongoing pain can also negatively affect our mental health, focus and productivity. You may feel as if your body and mind are at war with each other.
Unfortunately, millions of Canadians deal with chronic pain. That said, strategies and chronic pain treatments such as orthopedic physiotherapy, acupuncture and dry needling can help people manage illnesses and conditions.
What is chronic pain?
When pain lasts for 3 to 6 months or longer, it's referred to as chronic pain. Underlying causes may range from disease to injuries and surgical procedures.
Chronic pain can persist even after normal tissue has healed. This can have both physical and emotional implications, from tense muscles and restricted mobility to anger, fear of re-injury, depression and anxiety.
Conversely, acute pain often comes on suddenly and is sharp in quality. It does not last longer than 6 months. This type of pain typically disappears on its own after a few hours, days or weeks, or after the underlying issue has been treated or has healed. For example, you may fracture a bone, pull a muscle, or acquire a bruise, cut or burn that causes acute pain.
Having a health professional assess painful conditions and identifying supplementary treatments to help alleviate or relieve both acute and chronic pain can help improve your quality of life and reduce suffering — and secondary health issues.
How is chronic pain caused?
Chronic injury, anxiety, depression and diseases such as diabetes can work in tandem to trigger reactions in your neurological system, leaving it on constant high alert. We can experience chronic pain in our head, nerves, back and joints. Many chronic pain conditions are caused by one of the following:
Most people spend about one-third of their lives at work. Depending on the nature of our career and responsibilities, dangers or hazardous working conditions can leave us at risk for injuries such as slips, trips and falls.
Accidents, fires and explosions related to machinery and vehicles are also common causes of workplace injuries that may result in short or long-term pain or disability.
Shingles, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and neuropathy due to diabetes can lead to chronic pain. Our Orleans physiotherapists can help alleviate, or in some cases, relieve pain due to these types of diseases.
How you exercise, work, move and even stand or type can take a gradual but cumulative and significant toll on your body. Chronic pain can be caused by joint and muscle damage. For example, if you aren't aware of proper techniques to use when lifting heavy items at home or work, this can lead to chronic back pain and repetitive stress injuries.
A physiotherapist can help you learn to maneuver your body correctly to prevent overuse injuries.
How does physiotherapy work?
Our physiotherapists at Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans offer a comprehensive range of active preventative and rehabilitative services. Treatment for chronic pain can include both in-clinic and at-home therapies.
We can perform a thorough assessment designed to determine what's causing your pain and dysfunction, then develop a custom, goal-oriented plan to treat, manage and heal your acute or chronic injury or disorder.
Preventing injury and disease, promoting health and wellness and helping to restore healthy movement are also high priorities. Your specific recovery plan will be geared to your needs.
When it comes to treating chronic pain, our team at our physiotherapy clinic in Orleans commonly recommends the following services:
Our orthopedic physiotherapists are trained to assess physical dysfunction and help restore healthy movement. With orthopedic physiotherapy, they can help you achieve your physical and functional goals with a combination of education and physical exercises designed to:
- Help you manage and prevent injuries through education
- Reduce and manage pain
- Restore joint mobility and overall mobility following surgery or hospital care
- Increase range of motion and strength
- Optimize balance and coordination
- Rehabilitate work-related and motor vehicle injuries
Acupuncture & Dry Needling
We insert sterile needles in the skin and tissues during acupuncture and dry needling treatments to relieve chronic conditions.
The body is stimulated to produce endorphins (chemicals that relieve pain).
Pain and movement dysfunctions can be caused by muscular trigger points, tightness and muscle spasms. A very small, sterile acupuncture needle can be used to cause the muscles to contract and release, improving muscle flexibility and decreasing symptoms.
When is physiotherapy right for me?
Physiotherapy will often be recommended for many health conditions and issues, including:
- Sports injuries
- Orthopedic conditions that affect bones and joints, including back pain, sprains and fractures
- Geriatric conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and more
- Childhood disorders such as muscular dystrophy
Your doctor may also recommend physiotherapy to:
- Help restore mobility following hospital care or surgery
- Assist with rehabilitation after work-related injuries, heart attacks or motor vehicle accidents
Physiotherapy can play an integral role in managing and treating chronic pain, whether an injury or ongoing health condition is the culprit.
One of our skilled physiotherapists at Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans can develop a customized program to suit your specific prevention, treatment and recovery needs.