The prevalence of persistent pain is estimated to range from 10% to over 50%. Persistent pain diagnoses include complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, whiplash-associated pain, orofacial pain, migraines or other headaches, low back pain, etc. Most persons suffering from chronic pain conditions consult with a physical therapist. Physical therapy has been described as one of the pillars of pain management programs. As such, Bethesda Physiocare® is proud to provide all those in need with high-quality physical therapy.
According to the Wall Street Journal, most patients with pain should consider physical therapy before ordering expensive tests or undergoing surgery. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that as many as 50 million adults experience chronic pain every year, with nearly 20 million experiencing high levels of chronic pain.
But issues tend to arise as most physical therapists are not always prepared to offer patients with persistent pain the best evidence-based interventions they’re looking for. This is because very few university physical therapy programs include courses in chronic pain management or even in the neurophysiologic mechanisms of persistent pain. It should then come as no surprise that many physical therapists lack up-to-date knowledge of pain management principles and may not be all that interested in working with persons with chronic pain conditions.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of physical therapists with advanced knowledge of pain management principles. The physical therapists at Bethesda Physiocare® are specialized in chronic pain physical therapy.
Since chronic pain is so common, millions of adults simply live through the pain, but the pain does take a toll. Chronic pain can affect joints, muscles, movement patterns, sleep, and even mood. Bethesda Physiocare® offers a comprehensive chronic pain management program to address underlying causes of chronic pain. We have helped thousands of patients find relief from their chronic pain. Schedule an appointment today to receive our highly-reviewed treatment.
Common forms of chronic pain include:
Our clinic addresses all forms of chronic pain and can form treatment plans to lessen or dissolve chronic pain altogether.
Like most physical therapy treatments, chronic pain management is often an amalgamation of treatment methods. The techniques we use include:
Depending on the type of pain, we may also recommend at-home and workplace adjustments to make that would aid in pain recovery.
When you arrive for your first appointment, our PTs will conduct a thorough evaluation of your pain and potential causes. Our clinic thrives on collaboration, meaning our PTs (and sometimes outside experts) will discuss your data to reach the best conclusion about your pain.
Throughout this first phase, the focus will be on the reduction of pain. Physical therapists may use manual trigger point therapy, dry needling, deep muscle massage therapy, cold laser therapy, or other soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques. In addition, patients will be educated about their pain problem, the role of the central and peripheral nervous system, and the importance of improved posture and early conditioning exercises.
In most cases, one session per week is enough to treat chronic pain.
During the second phase of physical therapy, the focus shifts to further improving physical function and reducing disability and suffering. It is important to learn self-pacing skills and set achievable goals. Goals should include physical goals (exercise, walking), functional goals (work, recreation), and social goals (visit friends, go to a concert).
Physical therapists play an integral role in assisting persons with persistent pain to return to a meaningful life. Hopefully, knowledge from the pain sciences will become part of the standard curriculum of physical therapy schools to better prepare future physical therapists to become more effective pain management specialists.
For more information about persistent pain physical therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us.