Pain that lasts for months or years is defined as "chronic." It's not an unusual condition. In fact, studies suggest that 100 million people in the U.S. have some form of chronic pain. The discomfort may be occasional or continuous. Some patients report mild pain while others describe it as excruciating. Chronic pain impairs the ability to take part in everyday activities, and it can also be emotionally devastating. Fortunately, it's possible for physical therapy to provide much-needed relief. Our knowledgeable physical therapists may be able to bring an end to the cycle of chronic pain.
Neck and Back Pain
Experiencing pain in the neck and back is nothing unusual. In fact, studies demonstrate that approximately 90 percent of people experience pain associated with their spine. Each painful episode can become progressively worse, which means that if the cycle isn't addressed, it can get beyond the abilities of a physical therapist to fix.
Our physical therapists make it possible for patients to leave neck and back pain behind. We help patients develop better posture habits, restore flexibility and build strength with exercise. With a few lifestyle adjustments and better awareness, our physical therapists are able to transform lives.
Irritation of the sciatica nerve is a common symptom of many disorders of the lower back. For instance, a lumber herniated disc or degenerative disc disease are often accompanied by sciatic pain. Symptoms of sciatica may include ongoing pain in one half of the buttocks. Sometimes, this pain reaches down into the leg and worsens when the sufferer is sitting. No specific trauma tends to bring about sciatica. Instead, it usually develops over time.
Our physical therapists are familiar with the symptoms and treatment of sciatica. Frequently, we prescribe a program of strengthening, stretching and low-impact aerobic exercises for patients who are suffering from sciatica. Movement encourages healing in addition to making future incidents less likely.
This chronic condition remains rather a mystery. It's difficult to diagnose, and no one knows its cause. Nonetheless, physical therapy can successfully treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These symptoms may include dull achiness throughout the body, muscle stiffness, fatigue and depression. Clearly, the need for relief can be overwhelming.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can be successfully managed with exercise. Our physical therapists can demonstrate and suggest a wide range of stretching and strengthening exercises that can ease pain while also improving emotional outlook. Moreover, we can provide vital information and guidance regarding lifestyle changes, such as ways to reduce and manage stress, which may alleviate symptoms.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
This hereditary condition typically affects the body's connective tissues. This means that the joints are primary trouble spots. EDS causes the joints to be overly flexible so that they are able to extend beyond the normal range of motion.
Our licensed physical therapists have the knowledge that's needed to help patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. A few common-sense lifestyle changes, coupled with exercises that protect the joints, is usually precisely what's needed to improve quality of life. With the help of our physical therapists, many of our patients have been able to lead more independent and fully functional lives.
When a person's joints easily move beyond the usual range of motion, they may be diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome. This inherited condition may not be accompanied by any pain or discomfort in some people, but may be characterized by pain in the elbows, knees, hips and fingers in others. Anyone with hypermobility is more susceptible to sprains and dislocation of joints. Accordingly, it may be worthwhile for any individual who is diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome to work with physical therapists.
We have helped patients with hypermobility find ways to reduce pain and improve function. Under our guidance, many people have been able to build better joint stability, which makes it easier for them to be active. We may employ manual therapy and balance and proprioceptive activities to achieve these ends. Moreover, we sometimes recommend bracing or taping certain joints as well as performing muscle-strengthening exercises that support joint stability.
Everyone gets a headache now and then, but when people start to experience them on more days than not, they may be suffering from chronic headaches. Medical science defines chronic daily headaches as headaches that occur on more than 15 days in a month for a minimum of three months. Needless to say, this can be a debilitating state of affairs.
Most people seek appropriate medical treatment for chronic headaches. This can be beneficial. However, physical therapy can definitely be helpful for managing the condition over the long term. Our licensed therapists help patients to enhance their neck mobility and improve their posture. We also prescribe exercises to strengthen the neck and upper back. Most of the time, we can also make suggestions for creating a more ergonomic workspace, which cuts down on incidents.
This pain disorder can be particularly disabling for sufferers. That's because it involves the central nervous system as well as blood vessels and the nerves. Working with our physical therapists can be the key to experiencing less frequent and less severe migraines. With relaxation methods, the application of ice and massage techniques that can be mastered by family members, many of our patients have experienced significant relief. When migraines include musculoskeletal problems, physical therapy is even more imperative. Our physical therapists can provide treatment for people whose migraines are caused by muscle tightness and tension, poor posture and tightness of the back that is centered between the shoulder blades.
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull's temporal bones. When the jaw and its related muscles develop problems, these are typically referred to as temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. Doctors often prescribe medications or recommend the use of a splint or night guard to reduce pain and discomfort. The physical therapists in our office use manual therapy to increase jaw movement and prescribe exercises to strengthen the jaw muscles. Posture education may also be beneficial.