Complex to evaluate and treat, chronic pain can be of different nature and have a negative impact on patients’ lives.
Unlike acute pain, brief but intense, which acts as a warning signal, chronic pain is a full-fledged pathology. It is considered chronic when pain exceeds three months and becomes recurrent. Chronic pain is a disease, unlike acute pain which is a symptom.
Chronic pain can have a serious consequence on the patient’s life by impairing his functional abilities and preventing him from carrying out his daily and professional activities. It can thus become a real handicap.
It creates a feeling of helplessness and causes psychological exhaustion that can lead to depression.
The risks of suffering from chronic pain usually increase with age.
Physical therapists at Pro Therapy Services in Oklahoma City, OK, are trained to identify chronic pain.
There are three types of chronic pain depending on their causes:
- inflammatory pain due to inflammation
- neuropathic pain localized in the central and peripheral nervous system (due to nerve damage, post-operative sequelae, stroke)
- and cancer pain.
Treatment of Chronic Pain
The management of chronic pain is part of a multidisciplinary approach: it combines medication with a psychological approach and physical therapies, to treat both pain and depression.
Indeed, the treatment of pain can not be reduced to a medicinal treatment. After one year, studies revealed that 95% of the participants still suffer from chronic pain while being treated with analgesics.
Physical therapists at Pro Therapy Services in Oklahoma City, OK, evaluate patients with chronic pain thoroughly, taking into account all dimensions of pain.
The priority objectives of a physical therapist in Oklahoma City, OK, are the management of long-term pain, and a physical and psychological revitalization, allowing social and professional reintegration.
They use a large number of techniques, including manipulations, massages, physical exercises, thermotherapy, electrotherapy.
The beneficial effects of massage are partly mechanical, but they mainly involve vasomotor, neuromuscular and psychomotor reflex mechanisms in the skin, connective tissues, and muscles.
Massage does not only play the analgesic role, but it also allows the patient to rediscover and reappropriate his body.
Heat has an analgesic effect linked to the reduction of muscle contractures, to the improvement of the blood circulation but also to a direct action on the mechanisms of control of the pain, by increasing the threshold of pain perception.
Cold acts indirectly by reducing edema and inflammatory reactions.
- Physical Exercise.
Physical exercise (such as walking, swimming or cycling), directed by Physical Therapist in Oklahoma City, OK, reduces pain by strengthening or training the muscles so that they can move normally again.
Transcutaneous neurostimulation (TENS) is regularly used to relieve chronic pain.
Its fundamental principle is based on the fact that the nerves that undergo an electric current can no longer transmit the signals of pain to the brain.