Chronic Pain and its Painful Facts

Chronic Pain and its Painful Facts
 Many times referred to as the “invincible illness”, chronic pain affects over 100 million people a year in the U.S. Chronic pain can persist for weeks, months, or even years. Of those suffering from chronic pain, sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64. Sometimes the effects of chronic pain is obvious when canes, wheelchairs, crutches or walkers have to be used for mobility. Other times the pain is less obvious and kept quiet to avoid being labeled as “rude” or a “nag”. 

Causes of chronic pain:

  • Sprained back
  • Serious infection
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Past injury or evidence of body damage

 Common chronic pain complaints include:

  • Headaches– 45 million people suffer from headaches every year
  • Low back pain– 65 to 85 percent of all people have back pain at some time in their life. Degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, and sciatica are the leading cause for back pain. 
  • Cancer pain- 11 million people each year suffer chronic pain because of cancer 

  • Arthritis pain– affects more than 40 million Americans each year
  • Sciatic or other radiating pain into the legs or arms 

The most common mistake people make is assuming they “just have to live with it.” They may not know physical therapy treatments are available to lessen most types of pain. Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center specializes in relieving chronic pain. If you or someone you know is living in pain contact us at 800-916-6210 to see how we can help. All of our treatments are fast and effective in providing results for pain relief.

Kristina Murphy’s Experience at Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center
“Seven years ago, as a first year Special Education teacher, I began having severe pain in all of my major joints. My neck, hips, shoulders, wrists, knees, ankles, and even my fingers and toes hurt. Some days everything hurt, other days just some areas. Initially I went to see a general practitioner who told me it was just a bad reaction to something I ate. When the pain hadn’t gone away, I decided to go back to the doctor a year later. She suspected arthritis and ran a battery of blood work that indeed did point to arthritis. She recommended exercise and Motrin.

Flash forward to 6 years later when the pain had became so bad I was paying a neighbor to brush my daughter’s hair at night, kneeling on the kitchen floor to cook dinner, and I could no longer drive more than 15 minutes at a time. I went back to the doctor and was finally referred to a specialist who diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. We began a holistic approach to treatment that included physical therapy.

Beginning treatment at Walker PT and Pain Center, I was initially seen by Dr. Grace Walker, Physical Therapist, whose bedside manner was calming, positive, and truly made me feel like I could conquer the diagnosis and resume a normal life. For almost 3 months I have been working with Teri on strengthening my core, learning exercises to help ease the pain in my neck and shoulders, developing strength in my hips, and releasing stiff and tight muscles. Adding physical therapy into my weekly regime of meditation and prayer, healthy diet, exercise, counseling, and medication has truly been the turning point in becoming a better and stronger woman. Teri has not only taught me how to strengthen my body but has worked “miracles” and relinquished almost all of my pain.

I cannot thank the staff at Walker PT enough for the lifetime healing they have blessed and bestowed me with.”

˜Kristina Murphy

Pregnancy and Lower Back Pain

It is often said that pregnancy and lower back pain go hand in hand.

Many expecting mothers experience lower back pain to a certain degree. It typically starts during the second half of pregnancy and is usually not a cause of concern, but it CAN be very painful and annoying. Things leading to back pain include:

  • Weight gain.
  • Changes in posture or your center of gravity – as the baby grows, the center of gravity of the body shifts. This can impinge on nerves that trigger lower back pain.
  • Hormonal fluctuations – some hormones cause significant stretching of the joints and ligaments. This flexibility comes at a cost, and can be associated with a decrease in strength. As a result, simple activities like walking, standing, sitting for a long time, getting out of bed, or bending over to lift something can feel painful and uncomfortable.

Did you know that carrying twins (or more) increases your chance of having low back pain during pregnancy?

All of these factors can result in pain that ranges from slight discomfort to severe, disabling pain. The good news is that the pain gradually eases in most women as the due date approaches, but this does not mean that you have to tolerate the pain until your baby arrives.

There are many ways to relieve back pain. It is crucial to choose the right method since some treatments are more effective and appropriate than others. As your physical therapists, we can help you find the right exercises to reduce stress on your back and decrease your pain.

A Pain-Free Pregnancy

To help you deal with lower back pain during pregnancy, we evaluate the cause(s) of your pain. There are combinations of different factors which vary greatly from one woman to another. Therefore, the key to a successful treatment plan for lower back pain during pregnancy depends on the identification of the cause of pain and the choice of the most appropriate treatment method for that situation.

As an expecting mother, it can be very difficult for you to determine why you have back pain, much less decide which treatment will work best for you.

The best thing you can do to deal with that dull, persisting ache in your lower back is to have your back evaluated by a one of our skilled therapists.

We will help you find the treatment options that will work best for you and more importantly, are safe for your baby too!

Physical Therapy Helps Relieve Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

If your back hurts during pregnancy, you may want to do nothing but rest. Be advised that prolonged bed rest is generally counterproductive in the long run.

Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you are pregnant. Then, consider physical therapy for:

  • Strengthening exercises to help support the back and legs.
  • Stretching exercises to help the back and leg muscles become more flexible to prepare your body for the baby’s arrival.
  • Swimming exercises to relieve tension in muscles since the buoyancy of the water supports the joints.
  • Walking to improve blood circulation.
  • Hot pack (or cold pack if you prefer) for 10-15 minutes to provide some temporary pain relief.
  • Therapeutic massage (as advised by your physical therapist) can help ease muscle tension and relieve pain.

Since lower back pain during pregnancy is not always caused by the same factors, its treatment requires an individual approach to determine the best possible treatment. This treatment should be safe for the mommy-to-be and her baby.

That’s why it is important not to take any chances with unproven methods which can be either ineffective or unsafe, or both.

Call us today for more information about safe and effective lower back pain treatments during pregnancy. We will give you all the necessary information about different options and help you choose the most effective treatment for you. You don’t need to put up with lower back pain any longer, so schedule an appointment with us right away.