Chronic Pain and Role of Physical Therapy

The amount of people having chronic pain is increasing now a days. A recent NIH study has showed those numbers.  The growing number of people experiencing pain has resulted in an unprecedented growth in prescriptions of diploids and anti-anxiety medications. And, deaths from abuse of these drugs is at an all-time high. By identifying patients at risk of opined and Benzedrine abuse more quickly, and getting them the right care, we can improve the quality of life for millions of people, and, in some cases, save lives. Lot of times going conservative and modifying life style can improve patient’s pain and quality of life.

Chronic Pain

There are many definitions of chronic pain, but one of the most widely accepted is any pain lasting longer than 12 weeks. Having pain for longer than 12 weeks is simply not normal. In contrast, acute pain, that is, pain lasting for a shorter period of time.  Sub-acute pain is when pain is closer to acute but not chronic yet.

Think about the differences between the acute pain and chronic pain, you experience pain while playing soccer twisting your ankle or knee, initial pain is acute pain. Patient now sees doctor who stabilize his/her injury and give necessary prescriptions. In subacute phase patient might be referred to physical therapy to control pain, decrease swelling, and promote healing strengthening and getting back player back in sports.  Now same scenario happens with somebody twisting ankle walking down street and didn’t take care of it thinking it will be better but patient still have lingering pain after three months that is chronic pain.

Certain pain starts suddenly (acutely) and get resolved with time. Unresolved pain can turn into chronic pain.   Over period of time if chronic pain is not taken care of can lead to arthritic changes in that join or can lead to complete disability.  That in turn led to depression other complications.

Patient who has chronic pain tend to get addicted to pain killers. The CDC reports: “Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.”

Every year people going to emergency and dying from strong pain killers like OxyContin, Percocet and heroin are increasing and it’s alarming.

Patient should be treated more conservative with physical therapy, psychological counselling and modifying life style which can reduce opioids related deaths from overdose.

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