Chronic Pain

According to Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, about 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 6 months (beyond the point of tissue healing), as opposed to acute pain that only lasts 3 to 6 months. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous and anywhere from annoyingly inconvenient to totally incapacitating.

Chronic pain may start from a clearly identifiable cause, such as traumatic injury or infection. Or, it may be due to an unknown cause in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage, such as fibromyalgia. Chronic pain affects different people in different ways.

Chronic Pain

Common complaints may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Withdrawal from normal activities due to decreased interest and enjoyment
  • Weakened immune system
  • Mood changes, including hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, anxiety and stress
  • Disability / incapacitation

Chronic pain is also much more difficult to understand than acute pain, making it more difficult to get the treatment necessary to manage the pain. Neuropathic pain (neuropathy) is a good example of this. It has only been investigated relatively recently. Most types of neuropathy are unrelated to an observable injury or condition. But the nerves continue to send pain signals to the brain even if there is no longer any tissue damage. Many suffers of neuropathy describe their pain as severe, sharp, lancinating, lightning-like, stabbing, burning, cold and/or ongoing numbness, tingling or weakness.

Physical therapy is effective in treating chronic pain and helping patients to manage their symptoms. If you are suffering from pain for more than 6 months, chances are you have chronic pain. Call us to set up an appointment and get relief from your chronic pain.