By definition, Chronic Pain is said to exist when pain remains present for a period of 6 months or more. Studies indicate that 20-30% of the population are affected by chronic pain (British Journal of Medicine). Shockingly enough, some patients describe their chronic pain condition as constant and ever present pain day after day. Others will report that their pain has more of an intermittent quality, with periods of intensity and diminishment but never fully absent for more than a very short while. Both these scenarios are common and equally resistant to treatment without intense intervention. Almost always, the pain will not simply stop or get better on its own. Often, the patient will be forced to modify their activities and lifestyle to either avoid the onset or trigger of pain, and/or will self-medicate with an arsenal of pharmaceuticals which may have undesirable limitations or side effects. Neither approach is effective for extended periods of time, giving rise to the cyclical nature and frustration of the pain. The best course of treatment for anyone suffering pain is to seek a comprehensive assessment and treatment from a chronic pain clinic.
Why is Chronic Pain So Difficult to Treat?
Suffering patients are often asked to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 10 with one being almost no pain and ten being the worst pain they have ever felt. Most patients report their pain is constantly hovering anywhere between a 6 and 10. It is difficult for most folks to imagine a near constant pain that is present day after day, yet this is a common clinical presentation, which gives rise to the obvious question of why chronic pain is so difficult to treat? The answer lies in the fact that conditions that give rise to chronic pain are multi-dimensional in nature and so treatment must also be multi-dimensional. Any treatment plan that deals only with the “neuro-pain” component, offering only medication or injection therapy will not fully address the underlying causes that create the pain. Often when the course of pain or anti-inflammatory medication ends the patient will find that the pain returns. This happens because these medications are treating symptoms and not the underlying cause of the pain. Successful treatment must involve more than just a thorough evaluation that addresses the pathology. Successful treatment must also recognize the patient’s complicated psycho-social response to the pain. Psychological education must form part of the treatment plan due to the fact that the patient’s mood, beliefs and response to pain are integral factors in successful treatment outcomes. This key component of treatment is not always present and consequently the pain remains sub-optimally treated for the most part.
Can Shockwave Therapy Help with Chronic Pain?
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is a new technology that uses intense short energy waves to effectively treat chronic and painful musculoskeletal conditions. Shockwave Therapy has obtained impressive results in the treatment of many conditions most notably, Shoulder Injuries, Achilles Tendonopathies, Elbow Tendinitis, Myofascial Syndromes (muscle pain) and Plantar Fasciitis.
Shockwave Therapy is commonly provided once a week over a course of 2-5 consecutive weeks. The treatment can be delivered in the office/clinic environment and does not require any anaesthetic or time off from work. A typical Shockwave Treatment will take about 30 minutes and most patients will begin to notice almost immediate improvement from even chronically painful conditions.
Patients are advised to seek out treatment for chronic pain conditions at facilities that offer diverse approaches to care. Successful treatment of a multi-dimensional condition requires a multi-dimensional approach to care. CanadaPhysio clinics proudly offer patients a multi-disciplinary approach to care. Our clinics are equipped with state of the art technology like Shockwave Therapy, Class IV Laser therapy and Spinal Decompression as well as dedicated treating professionals to help with many locations to serve your needs across Ontario, in Toronto, Scarborough, Whitby, Mississauga and London.