Doctor prescribed opiates can be an appropriate solution to manage short term pain, but the CDC recommends physical therapy to overcome and manage pain. Physical therapists use movement, hands-on care, and patient education to help you be pain free. Increasing your amount of physical activity can also help reduce your risk of other chronic diseases.
Your experience with pain will be unique to you alone. Someone with a major injury, may experience very little pain while someone with a minor injury may experience more severe pain.
Research has found that pain does not originate in the tissues of our body. Pain does not exist until our brain determines it to. The reason we know this is from a condition known as phantom limb pain. Phantom limb pain occurs after a limb is lost to amputation and the patient continues to experience terrible pain in the missing body part. If pain lived exclusively in the body part, the pain would be eliminated when the limb was amputated. From this we know that pain is constructed at least in part by our brain.
This communication between the brain and the tissues of the body is happening without our conscious awareness. The brain is sending an output of pain to those tissues that it suspects may be in danger thus alerting in a protective manner against possible injury.
We also know that psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, can make your pain feel worse. For example, some patients report their pain increases when they are in a stressful situation at home or work. The brain is providing a form of self- protection as it determines this “stressful situation” as unsafe and sends out pain signals.
Pain is not a purely biomedical problem. There are cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, sociological, socio-economical components to your pain.
If you have pain that keeps you from taking part in work, daily living, and other activities that you enjoy, why not team up with a physical therapist to see if it can help.