Our body has an alarm system that warns us of potential threats to our health and well-being, much like a smoke alarm warns you when there is a potential fire in your house. We want our alarm system to go off when there is a fire, not when we are boiling water.,/p>
Pain warns us when there is an actual or potential injury so we can take care of it. In that respect, pain protects us from harm. People who do not feel pain die at an early age from easily treated problems because they lack this alarm system. Unfortunately, some people’s alarm system is too sensitive. Chronic stimulation of the pain matrix in our nervous system changes how the body senses, interprets, and responds to potential threats. It takes less and less stimulation to trigger pain, and chronic pain is driven less by tissue damage and more by these changes in the nervous system.
Chronic pain requires an entirely different approach than acute injuries. The physical therapists (PTs) in our clinic who treat chronic pain have specialized training and extensive experience in dealing with these challenging problems. They are part of an interdisciplinary team that also includes your doctor and psychologist. Everyone involved in your care is on the same page and taking a more holistic approach to your problem.
Not only will they address the problems responsible for your pain, they will also help you work on the consequences of your pain to help you regain the ability to do the things that give your life meaning and purpose. You will learn tools that will help you independently manage your condition. Systematic reviews of the scientific literature have demonstrated that people who complete a specialized PT program for chronic pain can do more with less discomfort and spend less caring for their problem.