Guest Post by Martin Kelvin
What Is Chronic Pain
Trying to find the best way to heal chronic pain isn’t an easy process because it takes time.
And what defines pain as a chronic one?
Chronic pain is a condition affecting your ability to live a peaceful life, while distracting you to focus on your work.
By definition, any pain that lasts more than 3 months is considered as chronic pain, and it could stem from several underlying factors.
If you are struggling with a squeezing, stinging or shooting sensation for more than 3 months, it means you are struggling with chronic pain, and you need to seek accurate treatment to deal with it effectively.
According to James River Physical Therapy, “When an injury occurs, pain signals are sent from the injured area along the spinal cord and then to the brain. As the injury begins to heal, pain usually becomes less severe. However, chronic pain is different. The body continues to send pain signals to the brain, even if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last several weeks to several years.”
You can experience chronic pain in any part of your body, which can restrict your ability to function properly.
Conditions like arthritis, past surgeries, headaches, and nerve damage are some of the most common sources of chronic pain, and hence you need to seek right treatment to heal them properly.
Most of the times, when you struggle with the pain, you think that home remedies are enough to deal with it.
Don’t do that on your own, because accidentally you may create further problems.
People who do not take their health seriously, end up spending a lot of money on fixing their illnesses and injuries.
However, those who understand the value of consulting a doctor at the right time, recover from their problems very fast.
Whether you are struggling with a sports injury or a condition like arthritis, it’s very important to consult a doctor at the right time and heal chronic pain issues.
Best Physical Therapy Techniques To Heal Chronic Pain
Physical therapy is one of the best treatments to heal chronic pain, no matter what the underlying cause of the problem is.
It’s a way of treating a problem,wherein no drugs and surgical treatments are implemented to recover from pain.
Here are some of the most used techniques physical therapists apply to treat and heal chronic pain.
Dry needling can actually bring a lot of difference in the way you recover from your problem.
For example, if the source of your chronic pain is arthritis, your physical therapist may use techniques like dry needling to mitigate pain, improve flexibility and to accelerate the natural healing process of the body.
The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle.
What Kind of Needles Are Used
Dry needling involves a thin filiform needle that penetrates the skin, and stimulates underlying myofascial trigger points and muscular and connective tissues.
The needle allows a physical therapist to target tissues that are not manually palpable.
Physical therapists wear gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when dry needling, consistent with Standard Precautions, Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings, and OSHA standards.
The sterile needles are disposed of in a medical sharps collector.
Dry needling is a very powerful treatment technique, and that’s the reason it is used for healing a wide range of conditions such as chronic pain that stems both from injuries and illnesses.
Dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunction of the motor end plates, the sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles.
This can help speed up the patient’s return to active rehabilitation.
Physical therapists who want to perform dry needling supplement, obtain specific postgraduate education and training.
Word of advise: When contacting a physical therapist for dry needling treatment, be sure to ask about their specific experience and education.
What about arthritis pain
It’s important for you to understand that arthritis can’t be treated completely.
All kinds of treatments that you seek for recovering from this condition, focus only on mitigating the pain caused by it.
So, if you want to manage the pain caused by arthritis, make sure that you consult a good physical therapist right away.
If you try this therapy, you may see a significant amount of reduction in pain after few dry needling sessions.
Also, your therapist will design a treatment plan just for you based on how severe your condition is.
Similarly, if the source of your pain is a past injury, then, your therapist may include Kinesio Taping in your treatment plan.
Kinesio Taping is very good for subsiding pain and accelerating the natural healing mechanism of the body.
It’s a kind of treatment approach wherein a therapist uses a therapeutic tape in the injured part of your body to reduce pain and to accelerate healing.
This tape start its function initiated by body heat, and helps in improving circulation.
So, if you are suffering from chronic pain and want quick relief from it, look no further than Kinesio taping.
Kinesio Tex Tape was created and developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1973.
It is a treatment that is felt to prolong the effects of physiologic work done.
After many unsuccessful attempts to use adhesive tapes that were commercially available, Dr. Kase developed Kinesio Tex Tape.
The Kinesio Taping Method is a unique method of applying Kinesio Tex Tape in a specific manner to create change in the aforementioned systems.
It is easy to learn and apply and it may be used over a longer period of time.
Although Kinesio Tex Tape is used primarily by nonathletic populations, it is also used by high-profile athletes as well.
3.Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is also very helpful technique to heal chronic pain. It’s an integral part of physical therapy that helps in offering quick relief to injuries tissues.
How it works?
It involves manipulation of the deep layers of tissue in the body, including the fascia and other supportive tissue that make up the muscles and joints.
A person receiving a deep tissue massage usually lays on the stomach or back in one position, while deep pressure is applied to targeted areas of the body by a trained massage therapist.
The massage is beneficial mostly because it helps stimulate blood flow and relieve muscle tension, while at the same time lowering psychological stress and releasing “happy hormones”(serotonin and oxytocin).
Certain areas of the body tend to tense up in times of stress including the shoulders, neck and hips, and these can often benefit the most from this type of deep manipulation.
Benefits of Deep Tissue Massage
- Treats chronic back pain
- Helps lower high blood pressure
- Reduces stress, anxiety and muscle tension
- Breaks up scar tissue
- Improves athletic recovery and performance
- Can help with labor pain and delivery
- Reduces arthritis symptoms
4.Cold Laser Therapy
Physical therapists across the world use cold laser therapy largely to reduce chronic pain, and improve your quality of life without any pain involved.
It is one of the most common drug-free techniques to heal chronic pain.
How it works
Cold laser therapy offers photons to injured tissues which stimulate them improves the blood circulation.
In addition, a physical therapy also focuses on patient education, which plays a crucial role in recovering from chronic pain.
Although doing exercise may sound like a pure torture, it may actually be one of the best pain management options to heal chronic pain such as:
- Arthritis pain
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Fibromyalgia pain
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
Contraindications Of Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy should not be used over any suspicious cancerous lesions, or carcinoma, over the thyroid, on pregnant patients, and there should not be direct irradiation of the eyes, as the laser can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
Pregnant women are recommended not to undergo the procedure, since its effects on unborn children are not yet known.
The doctor and the patient should use protective eyeglasses so that there is no direct eye exposure.
Living with a chronic pain isn’t easy.
Maybe you’ll have to try different techniques until you find the right one that will lower or heal your chronic pain.
After all, you need to have good quality of life, and chronic pain shouldn’t be the one to stop you.
1.Cummings MT, White AR. Needling therapies in the management of myofascial trigger point pain: a systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001;82(7):986–992. Free Article.
2.Kalichman L, Vulfsons S. Dry needling in the management musculoskeletal pain. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(5):640–646. Free Article.
3. Medicine Net
- Physical Therapy Is The Best Way To Alleviate Shoulder Pain & Restore Function
- How To Get The Most Out Of The Physical Therapy Sessions
- Why We Need Good Massage After Long Working Day
- Top 5 Tips For Relieving Joint Pain Successfully
- Significance of Stretching and Strength Training For Both Athletes & Non-Athletes