Physiotherapy for Persistent Pain
Persistent pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be described as pain that lasts for longer than 12 weeks and may have both physical and psychological consequences. Physiotherapy can play a significant role in managing persistent pain and improving the quality of life for those affected by it. In this blog, we will explore the concept of persistent pain, the benefits of physiotherapy for persistent pain, and how to find a good physiotherapist.
Understanding Persistent Pain
Persistent pain can be caused by a variety of reasons such as injury, surgery, chronic illnesses, or conditions like arthritis. It is important to understand the causes of persistent pain to make informed decisions about treatment options.
Symptoms of persistent pain may include a constant or intermittent ache, discomfort, or burning sensation in the affected area. The severity of the pain may vary and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and depression.
There are different types of persistent pain including neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain, and mixed pain. Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or disease affecting the nerves while nociceptive pain is caused by damage to the body tissues. Mixed pain is a combination of both neuropathic and nociceptive pain.
Early diagnosis and treatment of persistent pain is crucial for effective management and to reduce the risk of complications. Physiotherapy can play a vital role in the management of persistent pain, as we will explore further in the following section.
Physiotherapy for Persistent Pain
Physiotherapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment option for persistent pain.
Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to help manage persistent pain and improve physical function. Some of the techniques used in physiotherapy for persistent pain include:
Soft Tissue Mobilisation
Soft tissue mobilisation is a commonly used technique in physiotherapy for persistent pain. This technique involves the manipulation of soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments to improve their flexibility and reduce pain. Physiotherapists use a variety of manual techniques such as massage, stretching, and myofascial release to manipulate the soft tissues in the affected area.
The goal of soft tissue mobilisation is to improve the function of the affected area and reduce pain by increasing blood flow and reducing muscle tension. Soft tissue mobilisation can be especially effective for individuals with persistent pain caused by conditions such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and musculoskeletal injuries. The technique is performed by a physiotherapist who has undergone specialised training, ensuring that it is performed in a safe and effective manner.
Soft tissue mobilisation can provide long-lasting benefits for individuals with persistent pain, and when combined with other physiotherapy techniques, it can lead to significant improvement in overall function and quality of life.
Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
Stretching and strengthening exercises are an essential component of physiotherapy for persistent pain. These exercises help to improve range of motion, increase strength and stability, and reduce pain. Physiotherapists work with individuals to develop an exercise program that is tailored to their specific needs and goals.
Stretching exercises help to loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility, which can reduce pain and improve physical function. Strengthening exercises, on the other hand, help to build muscle strength, improve stability, and reduce the risk of future injury. Physiotherapists use a variety of strengthening exercises, including resistance exercises and weight-bearing activities, to help individuals with persistent pain achieve their goals.
The exercises are performed in a controlled and safe manner, with the physiotherapist providing guidance and support throughout the process. Regular participation in stretching and strengthening exercises can provide long-lasting benefits for individuals with persistent pain, and when combined with other physiotherapy techniques, it can lead to significant improvement in overall function and quality of life.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a commonly used physiotherapy technique for persistent pain. TENS involves the use of low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the nerves and reduce pain. The electrical stimulation is delivered through electrodes placed on the skin near the source of pain.
The electrical stimulation works by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain and stimulating the production of endorphins, which are the body's natural pain-relieving substances. TENS can be especially effective for individuals with chronic pain conditions such as neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, and chronic low back pain. The technique is non-invasive and can be performed in a physiotherapy clinic or at home with the use of a TENS machine.
TENS is considered a safe and effective technique for managing persistent pain and can be used in combination with other physiotherapy techniques for maximum benefit. Physiotherapists work with individuals to determine the appropriate settings for the TENS machine and provide guidance on the proper use of the device.
Regular use of TENS can provide long-lasting benefits for individuals with persistent pain and improve overall quality of life.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat and Cold Therapy are two common physiotherapy techniques used to manage persistent pain. Both heat and cold therapy have different effects on the body and can be used to reduce pain and improve physical function. Heat therapy is used to increase blood flow to the affected area, reduce muscle tension, and relieve pain.
Heat therapy can be delivered through the use of heat packs, hot showers, or warm baths. On the other hand, cold therapy is used to reduce inflammation, numb the affected area, and relieve pain. Cold therapy can be delivered through the use of ice packs, cold showers, or ice massage. Physiotherapists can help individuals determine which type of therapy is most appropriate for their specific needs and provide guidance on the proper use of heat and cold therapy.
Heat and cold therapy can provide significant benefits for individuals with persistent pain and can be used in combination with other physiotherapy techniques for maximum benefit. Regular use of heat and cold therapy can lead to significant improvement in overall physical function and quality of life.
Dry needling is a physiotherapy technique used to manage persistent pain. The technique involves the insertion of thin acupuncture needles into specific points in the muscle, known as trigger points. The goal of dry needling is to reduce muscle tension, improve range of motion, and relieve pain. Dry needling is a safe and effective technique for individuals with conditions such as myofascial pain syndrome, musculoskeletal pain, and headaches.
The insertion of the needles is performed by a physiotherapist who has undergone specialised training, ensuring that it is performed in a safe and effective manner. Dry needling can provide significant benefits for individuals with persistent pain, and when combined with other physiotherapy techniques, it can lead to significant improvement in overall physical function and quality of life. The physiotherapist will work with the individual to determine the appropriate number of needles and frequency of dry needling sessions based on their specific needs and goals.
Dry needling is a non-invasive and effective technique for managing persistent pain and can provide long-lasting benefits for individuals with chronic pain conditions.
These techniques may be used in combination to achieve the best results for each individual. Physiotherapy can also include lifestyle modifications and education on pain management techniques to help individuals manage their pain effectively.
Benefits of Physiotherapy for Persistent Pain
There are numerous benefits of physiotherapy for persistent pain, some of which include:
Reduces Chronic Pain: Physiotherapy can help reduce the severity of persistent pain and improve the quality of life for those affected.
Improves Physical Function: Physiotherapy can help improve physical function and mobility, allowing individuals to perform daily activities with less discomfort and pain.
Increases Range of Motion: Stretching and strengthening exercises included in physiotherapy can help improve range of motion and reduce pain.
Reduces Inflammation: Techniques such as heat and cold therapy can help reduce inflammation in the affected area, leading to reduced pain and improved function.
Improves Quality of Life: Physiotherapy can help improve overall quality of life by reducing pain and improving physical function, allowing individuals to live a more fulfilling and active life
Medicare Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC)
The Medicare Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program provides funding for physiotherapy services for individuals with chronic medical conditions. The program aims to improve the health outcomes of individuals with chronic medical conditions by providing access to comprehensive, coordinated care.
Under the EPC program, individuals are eligible for up to five physiotherapy sessions per calendar year. The sessions must be provided by an accredited physiotherapist and must be related to the individual's chronic medical condition.
Specific Physiotherapy provides physiotherapy for chronic pain
Specific Physiotherapy is a leading provider of physiotherapy services and is proud to offer services under the Medicare EPC program. Our team of accredited physiotherapists is dedicated to helping individuals with chronic medical conditions achieve their health goals through personalised and evidence-based care.
Our physiotherapists use a combination of techniques, including soft tissue mobilisation, stretching and strengthening exercises, TENS, heat and cold therapy, and dry needling, to provide the most effective care for our patients.
With a focus on patient-centered care and a commitment to improving health outcomes, Specific Physiotherapy is a trusted provider of physiotherapy services under the Medicare EPC program.
Book your appointment today
Looking for relief from persistent pain? Specific Physiotherapy provides evidence-based physiotherapy services to manage chronic pain conditions.
Our team of accredited physiotherapists offers a range of techniques including soft tissue mobilisation, stretching, TENS, heat and cold therapy, and dry needling to improve your physical function and quality of life.
Book a session today and get on the road to recovery.