The most insidious part of chronic pain is how easily you can become accustomed to your symptoms. You take painkillers to help you sleep, put on a heating pad to reduce the soreness swelling in your lower back, but without fail it keeps coming back. It affects your ability to rest at night or have fun with your kids. It can make attending to your job harder than before. Without using physical therapy to address the root of your issue you could end up not just living with chronic pain longer than necessary, but developing a disability years down the line.
Over one billion people live with chronic pain as we speak. Answer a few of the common questions below to get a better idea of what you could be dealing with without even realizing.
Do I Feel Unnaturally Stiff Or Sore?
You shouldn’t have trouble standing, sitting or completing menial tasks. Chronic pain, however, can have you becoming used to stiffness or soreness that shouldn’t exist. Nearly 40% of Americans with lower back pain will never seek help for their condition and, according to recent physical studies, hip pain is becoming one of the most common sources of chronic pain. Although there are good short-term solutions for managing minor pain, it’s highly recommended you seek out treatment for foot pain or a sports injury to prevent your issue from getting worse.
Have I Been Hurting For Three Months Or More?
A common sign you could have a chronic condition is the time span. Everybody aches from time-to-time, especially if they’ve been recently injured, particularly busy or starting a new exercise regimen. Chronic back pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks, even after healing the sports injury or sprain that caused it in the first place. This can also apply to foot health, hip pain or neck pain. Sub-acute lower back pain should only last from four to 12 weeks.
Am I Feeling Lancing, Burning Or Stinging Pain?
A major sign your chronic pain is starting to get worse is if the pain reaches a certain threshold. Lancing, burning pain along your side, throughout your neck or in your wrists is signs of a problem that hasn’t been attended to. According to the Library Of Congress the human body contains 650 skeletal muscles, though more expanded definitions can see that number exceeding 800. A lot can go wrong right under your nose and leave you struggling to type, cook food or drive your car.
Do I Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices?
Your lifestyle can contribute to chronic pain. Some struggle with lower back pain from a sports injury, while others start to gain symptoms from poor habits garnered at their job. Those that type regularly should always rest their wrist and give it time to recover to delay the onset of arthritis. Exercising a few times per week on top of medically approved stretching regimens will also help reduce hypertension, stiffness and soreness.
Should I Visit A Physical Therapist?
Even minor chronic pain should be seen by a professional eye to keep from getting any worse. Over 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives and a recent 2009 study published in the Arthritis and Rheumatology medical journal found women who wear better fitting shoes were 65% less likely to report foot pain. A physical therapist can pinpoint the root of your problem and provide solutions ranging from acupuncture to repeat sessions to alleviate your symptoms.
Contrary to what your pain might tell you…you don’t have to live with it. Consider visiting a physical therapist for your sports injury or stiff shoulders and experience the life that’s been waiting for you just around the corner.