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Chronic Pain Management
Chronic, persistent or long–term pain is pain continuing beyond 3 months or after healing should have occurred. It can affect adults or children. It can develop after tissue damage or inflammation but very often it cannot be explained. It is a complex condition with physical, social and psychological components. People suffering from chronic pain very often have severe disabilities, loss of independence and a poor quality of life. Most treatment approaches have no or only short term effects. Lots of research is currently conducted to explain the development of chronic pain, to find risk factors, to find ways to prevent it and to find the best management for it.
Physiotherapy plays an important role in the management of chronic pain. It has been shown that education and understanding of all the factors involved in chronic pain can improve self efficacy, can give control over the pain and can lead to better coping mechanism or to the reduction of pain. Physiotherapists can help patients to understand how all factors, e.g. emotions, low mood and negative beliefs are influencing chronic pain and how best to deal with them. They can assist by setting up exercise programs, giving advice about a healthy lifestyle and improving maladaptive movement patterns, postures and behaviours.