If you’re dealing with long-term pain that is not improving, physical therapy in Silver Spring is a far better option than medications
December 3, 2018
No matter how hard you try, pain is an unavoidable part of life, whether it may be the rolling of an ankle or sore neck from sleeping on it wrong. When you do experience pain, though, you should remember that it’s usually supposed to be helpful. Pain is the body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong and needs your attention. Most of the time, this “pain signal” eventually goes away either on its own or after tending to it—like putting ice on a sprained ankle. But for some people, the pain signal continues long after the problem has been resolved, which is called “chronic pain” when it lasts for three months or more. Chronic pain is often a troublesome issue to fix, but we strongly believe that physical therapy in Silver Spring is the best option available and should be used over pain medications.
When you injure yourself, pain-detecting sensors become activated in that area. These sensors then send a message in the form of an electrical signal to the brain, which processes the signal and sends out a message that something is wrong. After most injuries, this signal stops after the cause of pain is resolved, meaning the injured area has healed. But with chronic pain, these nerve signals continue sending messages that you are in pain even though there is no longer any damage to your body.
Unfortunately, the reasons behind why chronic pain occurs are still not well understood. For some individuals, pain from conditions like headaches/migraines, arthritis, back pain, infections or nerve damage is the original source of pain. But even more confusing are cases in which there was no known injury or condition responsible, and yet the patient continues to experience similar chronic pain symptoms nonetheless.
Unlike injuries in which there is a specific cause of pain and disability, chronic pain is often far more difficult to treat, since the problem is more related to the nervous system than a physical issue. Many patients are being prescribed pain medications like opioids to address their condition, but there are far more risks associated with this approach than there are benefits. Opioids are highly addictive and often associated with abuse, overdose, and death. They are also only meant to decrease someone’s perception or sensation of pain, and are not intended to actually address the factor that’s causing the pain. This is why they are only supposed to be used as a temporary solution until the pain subsides.
Physical therapy in Silver Spring does much more than mask the pain
Rather than merely mask the sensation of pain with a pill, physical therapists work with patients to help them better understand their condition and how their thought process can affect the way they feel. They also provide a number of techniques and tips to overcome chronic pain through specific movements and positive habitual changes. Here are some highlights of a typical chronic pain treatment program for patients that undergo physical therapy in Silver Spring:
- Education on how the brain and nervous system are causing the pain
- Strengthening exercises
- Flexibility exercises
- Hands-on (manual) therapy techniques
- Posture and body mechanics awareness
Living your life with chronic pain can make it seem like there are constant barriers preventing you from “normalcy” and doing the things you love, and no one should have to live like this. Contact CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 240-547-4303 to learn more about chronic pain treatment or to schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Hyattsville, Laurel, Glenn Dale/Bowie, or our newest location in Silver Spring, MD. You can also click here to learn more about chronic pain and physical therapy.