If you’re in pain, you’re far from alone. Did you know that an estimated 50 million people in the US, or roughly 1 in 5 American adults, say chronic pain interferes with their daily life? We’ve all experienced some pain here and there, but these millions of people are suffering from pain that has been ongoing for months, or even years at a time. It’s a frustrating and potentially debilitating condition, and for many there isn’t always a clear path to recovery.
For as common as chronic pain is, there remains a lack of awareness and understanding surrounding the condition when it comes to the public. Whereas more concrete and well-understood conditions often see widespread support and advocacy, chronic pain is often stigmatized and not perceived as a true medical condition.
To combat this lack of understanding, September has been designated Pain Awareness Month, and is dedicated to raising awareness for the serious problem of chronic pain and help remove the stigma that surrounds it. Chronic pain is extremely common, cited as the number-one cause of long-term disability in the U.S. and leaving people unable to work, feeling depressed, and struggling to sleep. It also comes with huge economic costs—an estimated $635 billion a year in lost productivity and medical expenses. This is more than the amount spent for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
The Synergy team is excited to spend Pain Awareness Month bringing attention to the challenges faced by those suffering from chronic pain, and would like to use this platform to provide information about physical therapy solutions that can help people in pain live life more fully. It should come as no surprise that the Synergy team believes physical therapy is one of the most effective tools available against chronic pain, but we aren’t alone! Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promotes using physical therapy as an alternative to potentially dangerous opioid medications that are so frequently pushed on chronic pain sufferers.
Unlike most medications, physical therapy is truly tailored to your individual body and the unique challenges you face. And it doesn’t just treat your symptoms for a few hours; physical therapy works on fixing the underlying problems that may be causing your pain in order to achieve long-lasting results.
So, how exactly can physical therapy help those experiencing chronic pain? At Synergy, your treatment program will be designed specifically for you, and will typically focus on three types of hands-on therapies:
Joint and soft tissue mobilization
We physically help move your joints (and the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue around them) to help them get back to moving normally. This technique can help relax tight muscles and increase your range of motion. It can get blood flowing to damaged tissue to help it heal and help break down scar tissue.
We use very thin, sterile needles to target trigger points. Those are areas of tight muscles that may be very sensitive to touch. The needling process can help relieve your pain and muscle tension and give you better range of motion. We promise, dry needling isn’t as scary as it sounds!
We help you work multiple muscles and joints in a way that mimics your normal work, home, or sports activities. At the same time, we help you build core strength and stability. Functional training will help get you back to normal activities and prevent further injuries.
Why is physical therapy so helpful in dealing with chronic pain? One reason is that exercise and tailored body movement has been proven to help lift your mood as well as improve heart and brain health. Physical therapy allows you to keep moving safely, taking advantage of the natural healing benefits of physical activity.
Even if you have a chronic condition such as arthritis, physical therapy can help. We can work with you to improve your strength and flexibility and help you come up with an exercise program to minimize your pain and maximize your fitness.
This month, as we focus on raising awareness of chronic pain conditions, let’s also look at the solutions available. It’s time to say no to pain and yes to a more active, positive future.
We believe in empowering you to take control of your recovery and well-being, and we provide all the tools you need to make that happen. To help you learn more about what course of therapy may be right for you, and to learn more about Synergy Physical Therapy, we also offer free consultations.
Synergy Physical Therapy is a Scottsdale-based, highly specialized rehabilitation clinic committed to helping patients meet their performance, health, and life goals. If you need help healing, whether from a sports injury, accident, or surgery, please feel free to contact us at 480.767.0794 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.