More people in America suffer from pain than diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined. When pain lasts for a long time (3 to 6 months or more), it is called chronic pain. The CDC recently released a report estimating that 50 million Americans, more than 20 percent of the adult population, have chronic pain.
Managing & Treating Your Pain
Chronic pain can have real effects on your day-to-day life and your overall health. Treating chronic pain can be difficult because it varies from person to person as well as many different causes and possible treatments. Developing the right treatment plan for your diagnosis is often the work of a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. When consulting with your doctor, he may refer you to visit a physical and occupational therapist.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical therapy practitioners can assess your chronic pain, and based on your goals, will establish a therapy treatment plan fit for you. Treatment may include both passive and active treatments. Passive treatments help you to relax, while active treatments are therapeutic exercises that strengthen your body and help you deal with your pain.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational therapy practitioners understand that pain it subjective and complex. OT’s work individually with you to evaluate the pain’s impact on your desired activities and quality of life. They teach you skills and strategies to manage and cope with your pain.
Pain Reducing Technology
Therapists may use non-invasive technology such as Electrical Stimulation (e-stim) which blocks the pain signal to the affected area while reducing inflammation. Also, Ultrasound and a combination of heat and cooling therapies may be used to reduce pain.
If you or a loved one suffer with chronic pain, it is important to pay attention to your body. Be proactive to keep your pain under control. Consult with your doctor and ask if physical and occupational therapy can help you!
References: American Occupational Therapy Association