Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic Pain Syndrome Arlington, VA

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that is active for more than 3 to 6 months. It can be mild or excruciating, episodic or constant, slight discomfort, or totally incapacitating. It is estimated about 116 million people experience chronic pain each year and roughly about 1/5 Americans suffer chronic pain. It can take both a physical and emotional toll on a person’s health.

Chronic pain may originate from an initial trauma/ dysfunction/ improper posture/infection etc. while some suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or trauma. The emotional toll of chronic pain also can make the pain worse and causes anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, and fear of movements. If the person is relying on a heavy dose of painkillers, over time it has been shown that it can cause negative side effects to the body.

Since chronic pain is associated with mind and body, effective treatment requires addressing psychological as well as physical aspects of the condition.


So, how can Physical Therapy help Chronic pain?

Physical therapists spend ample time with the patients and hence understand patient lifestyle and goals. Physical therapists work together with patients to formulate the plan to reduce their pain and restore their activity to the highest possible levels. Patient education includes proper posture education, understanding aggravating factors, and avoiding negative stressors in life which may lead to better mobility and restoration of improving lifestyle.

Physical therapists play an important role in managing chronic pain by administering treatments that include strengthening and flexibility exercises, manual therapy, posture awareness, and body mechanics instruction. Physical therapists can also help the patient to understand the underlying source/cause of their pain.

A multidisciplinary pain management program is advised which consists of a team of doctors and other health care professionals, including physical therapists, who share a common goal of improving the patient’s quality of life.

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