Chronic pain is defined as ongoing or recurrent pain that lasts beyond the usual course of an injury or illness. Usually, pain that lasts three or more months is considered to be chronic. It is a debilitating condition that affects at least 116 million Americans. Left untreated, chronic pain often leads to depression, dysfunction and social isolation.
Experts trained in pain medicine utilize multiple approaches for management of chronic pain. These often include medications, injections and nerve blocks. An important additional modality that is often employed is physical therapy. These, in combination, comprise the comprehensive management program that is known to provide the best results.
A healthcare provider may recommend regular, land based physical therapy or aquatic physical therapy. The latter approach is especially used for myofascial conditions like fibromyalgia.
There are five key ways a physical therapy program can help with chronic pain: