Chronic Pain Syndrome

By Nichole Clayton, PT, ATC

Chronic Pain Syndrome

By: Nichole Clayton, PT, ATC

Chronic Pain Syndrome

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Chronic pain syndrome affects around 116 million Americans each year. Interestingly, it used to be that someone was defined as having chronic pain if that pain lasted more than 6 months. Now, pain that lasts more than a month is put into that category after the potential for tissue repair might normally occur. This shift indicates that health providers are recognizing chronic pain earlier and are better able to stop negative attitudes and/or behaviors towards the pain.

Individuals with chronic pain are often advised to participate in a multidisciplinary pain management program, consisting of a team of doctors and other health care professionals including physical and occupational therapists. These therapy practitioners appreciate and can address the full complexity of a client’s chronic pain. Pain is multi-factorial and not only affects an individual’s physical ability, but also their cognitive ability due to anxiety and high stress levels.

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Physical and occupational therapists play an important role in managing chronic pain by administering a variety of evidence-guided treatments that include strengthening and flexibility exercises, manual therapy, posture awareness, and body mechanics instruction. Therapists are able to gradually increase the intensity of active exercises and educate the patient about how brain and central nervous system hypersensitivity contribute to their chronic pain. By evaluating the various physical, cognitive, and psychological elements simultaneously at play in someone with chronic pain, therapy practitioners can help clients to cope with and manage their pain so they can accomplish the activities most important to them.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!

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