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Chronic Pain Syndromes Physiotherapy



Chronic pain is a condition that happens when our brain concludes that there is a threat to a person's well-being based on the many signals it receives from the body. This condition can and often occur without any actual or real body tissue damage (due to injury or illness), and last beyond normal tissue healing time.

It is estimated that 116 million Americans have chronic pain each year. The cost in the United States is $560–$635 billion annually for medical treatment, lost work time, and lost wages.

The causes of chronic pain can differ a lot. While any injuries or condition can lead to chronic pain, there are certain medical conditions more likely to cause chronic pain. These include:

Some diseases, such as cancer and arthritis, can cause/aggravate ongoing pain. With chronic pain  however, pain is created in the nervous system even after physical tissues have healed.

Chronic pain affects each person experiencing it differently.

In some cases and patients, chronic pain can lead to

  • decreased activity levels
  • job loss
  • financial difficulties
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • disability

Our senior physiotherapists work together with chronic pain patients to

  • lessen their pain and
  • restore their activity participations to the highest possible levels

With treatment, the negative effects of chronic pain can be reduced. The American Physical Therapy Association launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of opioids and the safee alternative of physiotherapy for long-term pain management.

first of all, What Is Chronic Pain?

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that we usually associate with injury or tissue damage, but can actually be present in the absence of tissue damage as well. Pain can be acute or chronic.

Acute pain lasts for a short time – up to 12 weeks. It is a warning that tissue damage has occurred or may occur, or to help us prevent injury or disease. For instance, if we touch a hot item or stove, the body sends a danger message to the brain that there is a threat to tissues in order to prevent further injury.

A sore foot can signal a need to change your footwear.

In some cases, the danger messages may be due to some disease process, and your brain may interpret those messages as pain. This can cause you to seek medical attention – diagnosis and treatment – for what may be a serious condition. Signaling pain in this manner is the body's way of protecting us and this is a good thing.

Chronic pain on the other hand, is any discomfort or unpleasant sensation that lasts for more than 3 months – which is beyond an expected normal healing time. Often, those who have chronic pain believe they have an ongoing disease or that their body has not healed, when this may not be the case.

Chronic pain is likely not warning you of possible injury or danger; instead, the pain centers in the brain may be causing you to hurt even though there are no new causes of pain occurring in the body. Anyone can develop chronic pain, at any age.

The brain changes in chronic pain:

  • When you are injured or develop a painful disease, nerves send information from the problem area to the brain.
  • The brain analyzes this information coming from the body to determine if there is a threat to the body and whether action needs to be taken to prevent harm.
  • When pain is constant or chronic, the brain and nervous system go on "high alert," becoming more sensitive.
  • Cells that conduct sensation in the nervous system can also become more sensitive when on high alert, making it easier for the brain to interpret these sensations as a threat and thus cause you to have more pain. These changes in the brain and central nervous system induce and maintain chronic pain symptoms.
  • When pain is chronic: Pain sensations are activated in the brain; The brain continues to interpret all sensations from the problem areas as danger, even when there is no more tissue damage occurring. This makes it easier for the pain centers in the brain to activate; Pain messages come from many different areas of the brain – areas that may control fight or fear reactions, movement, emotions, problem-solving, and learning. In fact, almost any system of the body can be affected by chronic pain.
  • The brain and nervous system continue reacting by causing you to continue to be in pain. This process increases sensations, emotions, or thoughts about the problem area. At this point, any sensory input can activate the pain centers. Even thinking about it, or reading the word pain can trigger pain sensations. The pain is in the brain: In order to protect you, the brain is making the decision to increase the alert level for sensations you feel.

How Does chronic pain Feel like?

How chronic pain feels depends and varies from patients to patients as pain experience is very personal. How often it occurs, how severe it is, or how long it lasts is not predictable from one person to another.

Common complaints related to chronic pain include:

  • It may seem as if "everything hurts, everywhere."
  • There may be sudden sharp episodes, like stabs of pain.
  • It may seem as if the pain "has a mind of its own."
  • You feel symptoms even if you are not doing anything to cause them.
  • It feels worse when you think about it.
  • It feels worse when you experience upsetting circumstances in your life.
  • You may feel more anxious and depressed.
  • You may feel your symptoms spread from one area to another area.
  • You may feel fatigued, and afraid to do your normal activities.

These complaints are common when you have chronic pain.

This being said, that doesn't mean that your physical condition is worsening; it may just mean that your system has become more sensitive to pain and stimuli.

chronic pain Signs and Symptoms

Research finds the following signs may be associated with a chronic pain syndrome:

Fearfulness. It is easy to begin to fear increased pain when you have a chronic pain condition. As a result, you may begin to avoid activity. You may find that you rely more on family members to help with daily functions.

Body stiffness when you try to become more active. Stiffness including joint stiffness and muscle stiffness may make you feel as if your body is less able to perform daily activities.

Deconditioning. Not moving your body results in less tolerance when you want to become more active. If you are inactive for a long time, muscles weaken and shrink from not being used. This can also increase your risk of falling. Recommend that you consider regular deep tissue release massage to ensure your muscles are in optimal health and improve circulation.

Decreased circulation. Lack of activity decreases the circulation of much-needed blood to your cells. Tissues in your body may not get as much oxygen as they need. As a result, they may not be as healthy as they can be. This can cause you to feel fatigued, and lack energy.

Weight gain and/or a worsening of other conditions. Decreased activity can lead to unwanted weight gain. Added pounds and inactivity can aggravate symptoms of other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Chronic pain conditions are also commonly associated with feelings of anxiety or depression.

Increased use of medication. Chronic pain patients can have the tendency to increase their medication over time to seek relief.

Individual behaviors can include:

  • Seeking out of many different doctors or health care providers and facilities to find pain relief.
  • Difficulties with job performance. Some people with chronic pain even seek work disability.
  • Avoidance of social situations or family members.

When pain is ongoing, you may find you have feelings of bitterness, frustration, or depression. Some people report they have thoughts of suicide. If you are having these feelings, tell your doctor. This is important, so that you can get appropriate help, support and even medications to help you feel better.

How Is chronic pain Diagnosed?

Our senior physiotherapist will perform a thorough evaluation. He or she will:

  • Ask specific questions about your past and present health and use of medication.
  • Ask about your symptoms: their location, intensity, how and when the pain occurs, and other questions, to form a clear picture of your individual situation.
  • Ask you to fill out pain and function questionnaires, to understand how the pain is affecting your daily life.
  • Perform tests and movements with you. The tests help to identify problems with posture, flexibility, muscle strength, joint mobility, and movement. Special tests help to rule out any serious health problem such as pressure on a nerve or an underlying disease.
  • Observe how you use your body for home, work, and social/leisure activities. This information helps your therapist prescribe a program that will boost your quality of life, and get you moving your best.

Imaging tests such as

  • x-rays
  • computed tomography (CT) scans
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

are often not helpful for diagnosing the cause of chronic pain.

However, if our senior physiotherapist suspects that your pain might be caused by any serious underlying condition, he or she will refer you to our/your medical network doctors for evaluation. We will of course also work with your physician to provide the best diagnosis and treatment for your chronic pain.

How Can our senior PhysioTherapists Help?

We will work with you to educate you on chronic pain, find solutions to improve your quality of life, and get you moving again! He or she will help you improve movement, teach you pain management strategies, and, in many cases, reduce your pain.

Not all chronic pain is the same. We will evaluate your clinical examination and test results and design an individualized treatment plan that fits you best.

Our physiotherapy treatments may include:

Education to improve your knowledge and understanding of chronic pain - how it occurs, and what you can do about it. We will teach you how to manage your pain and help you work toward performing your normal daily activities again.

Strengthening and flexibility exercises to help you move more easily with less discomfort. Your therapist will design a program of graded exercises for you - movements that are gradually increased according to your abilities. Graded exercises help you improve your coordination and movement, reducing the stress and strain on your body, and decreasing your pain. Carefully introducing a graded exercise program will help train your brain to sense the problem area in your body without increasing its danger messages.

Manual therapy, which consists of specific, gentle, hands-on techniques that may be used to manipulate or mobilize tight joint structures and soft tissues. Manual therapy is used to

  • increase movement (range of motion)
  • improve the quality of the tissues
  • reduce pain

Posture awareness and body mechanics instruction to help improve your posture and movement. This training helps you use your body more efficiently while performing activities and even when you are resting. We will help you adjust your movement at work, or when performing chores or recreational activities, to reduce your pain and increase your ability to function.

Patients with chronic pains will definitely benefit from

  • regular deep tissue release therapy to ensure the muscles are optimal for energy and movement, and it also helps to regulate circulation for recovery and healing
  • clinical pilates improves your core strength which will help you improve your ability to move and participate in life


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book your physio appointment or enquire now

Enquire and email your preferred physiotherapy appointment slot to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

Phoenix Rehab physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.



HAND THERAPY &  SPLINTING

Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes



CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES

Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)



DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY

Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and shorten downtime. It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.



ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

do Tell Your Family, Friends And Colleagues About Us =)

We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointment or enquire now

Enquire and email your preferred physiotherapy appointment slot to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here