CHRONIC PAIN TREATMENT
Chronic pain is a condition that occurs when the brain concludes there is a threat to a person’s well-being based on the many signals it receives from the body. This condition can and often does occur independently of any actual body tissue damage (due to injury or illness), and beyond normal tissue healing time.
It is estimated that 116 million Americans have chronic pain each year. The cost in the United States is $560–$635 billion annually for medical treatment, lost work time, and lost wages.
The causes of chronic pain vary widely. While any condition can lead to chronic pain, there are certain medical conditions more likely to cause chronic pain. These include:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Limb amputation
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Some diseases, such as cancer and arthritis, cause ongoing pain. With chronic pain, however, pain is created in the nervous system even after physical tissues have healed.
Chronic pain affects each person experiencing it differently. In some cases, chronic pain can lead to decreased activity levels, job loss, or financial difficulties, as well as anxiety, depression, and disability. Physical therapists work together with chronic pain patients to lessen their pain and restore their activity to the highest possible levels. With treatment, the adverse effects of chronic pain can be reduced.
The American Physical Therapy Association launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of opioids and the safe alternative of physical therapy for long-term pain management. Learn more at their safe pain management page.
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