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Sep
29

Chronic Pain Awareness – How Physical Therapy Can Help

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Chronic pain can be helped with physical therapy such as

the in home physical therapy that

GO Physical Therapy offers to the NY area.

As September comes to an end I wanted to be sure we took a moment to recognize that this is Chronic Pain Awareness Month. Everyone experiences pain at some point in their life; however, chronic pain is a constant pain that won’t go away on its own. Chronic pain is generally extreme and often thought to only be manageable with prescription medications. While some chronic pain may never go away and can only be “managed,” it is possible for the pain to be reduced enough for the patient to be completely taken off of prescription drugs or at least reduce the amount of drugs needed to still maintain a quality of life that allows for enjoyment without constantly having to live within a pain threshold that is unbearable.

It is not unusual for older adults to experience chronic pain. GO Physical Therapy will work with you to determine the reason for your chronic pain and create a plan to help decrease your pain and strengthen your body. Chronic pain can result in a person becoming less active; often creating a domino effect that will not only have you living a life of pain but living a life of inactivity that then weakens your entire body. It becomes a catch 22 in the sense that the more you hurt, the more you slow down and stop living life. The more you slow down and stop moving, the weaker your body becomes. The weaker your body becomes, the better the odds are that your pains to not only continue but most likely worsen as time goes on.

I personally think the most frightening aspect of chronic pain is that many times I see seniors on so many medications to “help” them with their pain that I wonder Pillshow they can even tell what’s truly pain or what may be a side effect of the various medications they are on. While medication definitely has its place in helping those with chronic pain, I feel that combating the cause of the pain is first and foremost in the fight against it. Masking the pain does not solve the problem and simply makes your life a little less painful for now. As you age the root of the pain will most probably still be there and most likely worsen with age. That is why it is so important for those who suffer from chronic pain to not only understand the medications they are on and what those medications do; but to understand the reason behind the pain and take every action possible to strengthen their bodies in an effort to rid them of the pain itself.

Clinical investigators have tested chronic pain patients and found that they often have lower-than-normal levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid.[1] It is common knowledge that exercise releases endorphins. So it is easy to associate that something as simple as at home physical therapy, creating movements and exercise that helps the body to release endorphins, is a very real and non-evasive way to approach pain. It is also known that pain is often associated with weak and tense muscles. Regular participation in exercise and specific movements that help to strengthen one’s muscles and tendons can also increase blood flow and oxygen to these areas. This increase of blood and oxygen helps the muscles and tendons to literally have more life pumped into them. A result of simply being at constant rest because of pain creates a situation where you will never rid yourself of the pain or strengthen your body to combat the pain. This is why it’s not only important to “age actively” by moving and strengthening your body but also to do so with a trained physical therapist who can create the movements needed specific to your chronic pain issues.

1.5 billion people suffer from chronic pain each year, but physical therapy can help. Take a stand against living life in pain! See how PT can not only decrease your pain but increase your quality of life. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines because pain has a hold on your life! A qualified physical therapist can come to you, in the NY area, and help you battle your chronic pain with a plan designed specifically for you!

Dedicated To Your Health & Well-being (and safety),

Mike

 

[1] NIH – NINDS Chronic Pain Information Page, Pain: Hope Through Research

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