Have you Google searched treatment options for your nagging pain and injury?
Ever fallen into the loophole of trying different forms of stretches, exercises or purchasing fad exercise equipment that doesn’t seem to fix you?
It is highly likely that you have experienced discomfort at some point in life whether it be pain and injury, psychological, or even emotional. Although the outcome of pain and injury is the same, they are two different things.
Pain is a subjective experience that can be felt in different parts of the body. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as physical trauma, inflammation, or nerve damage. Pain is an important mechanism for the body to signal that something is wrong and needs attention. It can be acute or chronic, and its severity can vary from mild to severe. Some common types of pain include headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain.
On the other hand, an injury is physical damage to the body. Injuries typically have a mechanism such as a fall, collision, or overuse. Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe damage such as broken bones or torn ligaments. Injuries can also be acute or chronic, and their severity can vary from mild to severe.
The good news is, most of the time your body will take action to heal itself; however, occasionally you will need assistance in the healing process. In order to best treat your pain and injury you first need to assess and understand the cause and type of symptoms. Then you can unlock treatment options that are more specific to you.
At Stretch Affect we assess not only the location but also the cause and source of your pain and injury. We remove the guess work by taking you through our thorough holistic evaluation and history review. Our examination including a joint-by-joint mobility and full body strength, power, and stability assessment guides our treatment path.
Injury Defined: Damage or dysfunction to any of the soft tissues of the body
Location: What region of the body?
Superficial – At the surface, able to touch it
Deep – Unable to palpate or touch it
(Ex: Joint/Capsule/Disc/Viscera/Deep muscles/Deep Ligaments)
Mechanism: How did it happen?
External – (Ex: trauma)
Internal – (Ex: autoimmune/congenital/genetic/metabolic)
Timeline: How long has it been since onset?
Acute – rapid onset symptoms getting worse typically less than 10 days
Subacute – symptoms getting better typically 2 weeks to 3 months
Chronic – greater than 3 months symptoms may be stable or progressive
Severity: How bad is it?
Mild – minor tissue damage, low pain, minimally affects daily function
Moderate – moderate tissue damage, affects ability to perform daily function
Severe – serious injury with significant tissue damage, high pain, significantly affects ability to perform daily function
Pain Defined: A subjective experience of discomfort.
“Unpleasant conscious experience that emerges from the brain … suggests that you need to protect a particular part of your body.” – Lorimer Moseley
Acute – Short term pain that comes on suddenly with a specific cause or mechanism
Chronic – Long term pain that lasts typically more than 6 months can be without cause
Radicular – Pain that occurs when a nerve root in the spine is irritated or compressed
Referred – Pain that is felt in a different part of the body than the actual source of pain
Nociceptive – most common pain type caused by stimulation of pain receptors in your body (nociceptors)
Neuropathic – pain caused by damage or dysfunction to the nervous system which can be without cause
Neuroplastic – pain that arises from altered nociception without evident tissue damage typically more widespread
Now that you have a better understanding of your pain or injury and classification of your symptoms let’s look at treatment options.
Treatment Options and Best Uses for Each:
Rest/Relaxation – promotes healing and reduces stress by decreasing external forces that may be further damaging to healing tissues. This is essential in early injuries but can also be used to help calm down the nervous system with chronic or neuroplastic pain.
Therapeutic Touch – Massage, trigger point, instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation, fascial release, and Active Release Technique are a few different techniques that may be utilized to promote healing through human touch. The mechanism varies from promotion of blood flow, promoting fascial glide, or decreasing spasm or tone. This can be used for subacute and chronic injuries as well as nociceptive or referred pain.
Movement/Exercise – by far one of the best ways to treat pain and injury. Proper exercise can help improve range of motion, increase strength, reduce inflammation, reduce pain through endorphin release, and improve overall health and wellness. There is a variety of ways and types of exercise and proper dosing and techniques should always be considered. This can be used for most injuries or pain with proper dosing.
Joint Manipulation – These techniques can be used to promote joint mobility, reduce pain, and enhance circulation and function. Joint manipulation can be done with low or high amplitude and velocity. These techniques can be specific or broad depending on the technique and the intent of the provider. This is typically used for subacute or chronic injuries and pain. In certain cases, this can help with radicular or neuropathic pain.
Modalities – Devices such as heat, ice, infrared light, laser all help promote tissue healing through either promoting or decreasing blood flow. Electrical stimulation such as TENS helps to block pain signaling and NMES helps with muscle activation. Typically used for acute and subacute injuries as well as all different types of pain.
Medications – There are copious amounts of medications with varying uses from steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, pain relievers, and muscle relaxants. Medications may be taken oral or intravenously. Typically, these medications can help treat the symptoms but not the cause of your pain or injury. In certain cases, medications might actually slow healing timeline. It is always best to consult your healthcare professional when taking medication.
Supplements/Diet – proper diet and supplementation can help provide your body with adequate nutrition to support tissue repair, reduce inflammation, and or relieve pain.
Rehabilitation – rehabilitation utilizes a combination of these treatment techniques including an assessment and evaluation in order to best treat your pain or injury. This is essential for most injuries and pain symptoms.
Surgery – A medical procedure that involves physical manipulation of tissues to diagnose or treat a medical condition or injury. Typically, a last option for mild and moderate pain or injuries. May be necessary when conservative treatments fail or to prevent further damage or as a lifesaving procedure.
Pain and injury are two different things that require different treatment and care. Pain is a subjective experience that can be caused by a variety of factors, while an injury is physical damage to the body. It is important to identify the underlying cause of pain and injury to provide the appropriate treatment and care. If you are experiencing pain and injury, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.
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