Pain FAQ

What can I do personally to help get relief from pain?»
What is the difference between acute pain and chronic pain?»
What is the goal of chronic pain management?»
How can I do physical therapy when it hurts to move?»
Why should my pain be treated?»

What can I do personally to help get relief from pain?

You are the most important ingredient in restoring your function and treating your pain. Procedures and medications can provide a degree of relief and are intended to allow you to begin stretching, exercising, loosing excess weight, and improving the strength of your muscles and bones. Being an active participant in your treatment plan and reconditioning your body is very important as it helps stimulate the feedback loop between your muscles, spinal cord and brain. This will allow you to defeat pain perpetuating neural circuits and reflexes. An inactive lifestyle will continue to perpetuate this cycle of chronic pain.

What is the difference between acute pain and chronic pain?

Acute pain is pain of a short, limited duration, usually the result of an injury, surgery or medical illness. Acute pain often goes away with the healing process.

Chronic pain continues for longer periods of time, sometimes even long time after the healing of the original injury is expected to have occurred. Chronic pain is also associated with frustration, depression and anxiety.

Treatments for acute and chronic pain are often quite different

What is the goal of chronic pain management?

Chronic pain management is the process of increasing activities of daily living as well as helping to reduce or eliminate pain, while simultaneously teaching ways to cope with symptoms that cannot be completely relieved.  It is a multi-disciplinary approach that may involve a pain management physician, a physical therapist and/or services of a psychologist. The ultimate goal is to reduce pain, increase physical activity and promote a wellness lifestyle.

How can I do physical therapy when it hurts to move?

Re-training injured muscles that have been passive for some time is one of the best ways to relieve some types of chronic pain. Initailly,  it is common for these muscles to be sore, this is part of the process of building strength and restoring function.  We work with trained physical therapists who will help you develop a specific plan to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.  Achieving these physical therapy goals may ultimately serve to reduce pain and/or dependence on medication, improve mobility and enhance quality of life.

Why should my pain be treated?

Chronic pain can limit the enjoyment of being an active participant in the things you enjoy in life. Chronic untreated pain can lead to:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Physical disability
  • Depressed mood
  • Damaged relationships
  • Hopelessness
  • Other medical issues

Chronic pain may produce feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness, and even despair. In addition, it can alter one’s personality, disrupt sleep, interfere with work and relationships and even have a profound effect on other family members. It is normal to have psychological problems with pain.