How to Successfully Manage Chronic Pain

chronic pain

Chronic pain affects millions of Americans every year and is the single largest cause of long-term disability. The causes of chronic pain are varied, but there are many effective conventional and alternative treatments such as massage therapy for chronic pain that can help you to live a pain-free life.

What is Chronic Pain?

There are generally two types of pain: Acute and chronic. Acute pain is usually sudden onset, but quick to resolve, lasting no longer than 6 months. Chronic pain, however, is a more debilitating condition and lasts long after the initial cause of the problem has healed.

Managing Chronic Pain

Because chronic pain does not usually respond to typical pain management methods, chiropractic care is often recommended to address the root cause of the pain while also providing pain relief.

Initial Exam

Chiropractic care for chronic pain management takes a holistic approach to healing. So, before your chiropractor suggests any treatment, they will always perform an initial exam to determine the nature and severity of the pain.

Often, the exam will consist of obtaining a medical history, a physical assessment using massage techniques or spinal manipulation, and in some cases, they may recommend other diagnostic exams such as MRI or ultrasounds.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy for chronic pain can help to relieve pain by releasing tension in the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the affected area. Massage can also help to promote blood flow to the area, boosting nutrient uptake and assisting the area to heal faster.

There are several techniques that your chiropractor may use depending on your condition. Deep tissue massage uses intense pressure and across-the-grain stroking motions to access the deepest layers of muscle. Myofascial release focuses on the connective tissues rather than the muscles for lengthening and increasing mobility. Trigger point therapy is a technique used for relieving the source of pain which may be located in a different area of the body.

Spinal Manipulation

Spinal manipulation is a hands-on technique used by chiropractors to adjust the spine to relieve pressure on spinal nerves (and consequently the peripheral nerves) and relieve pain.

There are different manipulation methods that are suitable for different conditions; some methods use specialized equipment or tables in addition to hands-on manipulation. But, in general, spinal manipulation uses thrusting force to move joints.

This treatment reduces inflammation in painful areas, relieve pressure on joints and nerves and improve mobility. Consequently, the pain associated with these conditions is also eliminated.

Electric Muscle Stimulation

Chronic pain can often be caused by muscle spasms, or as a result of poorly healed injuries. Electric muscle stimulation uses small electrical impulses to contract the muscles rapidly causing the muscles to fatigue and relax. The therapy also causes the body to release large amounts of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and promotes blood flow to the painful area to promote faster healing.

Final Thoughts

Chronic pain is unfortunately all too common an issue, but you don’t need to live with the pain. Massage therapy for chronic pain in Waterford MI, and other complementary therapies can help to manage your pain, so you can get back to enjoying your life.

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