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  • Writer's pictureInspine Therapy

Physiotherapy: Helping People With Chronic Pain

Updated: Jul 2, 2023



Chronic pain is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, illness, or disease. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Physiotherapy is a form of treatment that can help alleviate chronic pain. It involves the use of physical techniques such as exercise, massage, and manipulation to improve mobility and function.


Physiotherapy can also help reduce pain and improve overall well-being. Chronic pain is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is defined as pain that persists for longer than three months and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. There are several different types of chronic pain, including:



Neuropathic pain


This type of pain is caused by damage to the nerves and can result in sensations such as burning, tingling, or numbness.


Nociceptive pain


This type of pain is caused by damage to the body’s tissues and can result in sensations such as aching or throbbing.


Inflammatory pain


This type of pain is caused by inflammation in the body and can result in sensations such as swelling or redness.


Psychogenic pain


This type of pain is caused by psychological factors such as stress or anxiety and can result in sensations such as tension or tightness.



Each type of chronic pain requires a different approach to treatment. A healthcare professional can help determine the underlying cause of your chronic pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms.


If you suffer from chronic pain, physiotherapy may be an effective treatment option for you. A physiotherapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. Through regular physiotherapy sessions, you may be able to reduce your chronic pain and improve your quality of life.




The Origins of Physiotherapy


The origins of physiotherapy can be traced back to ancient times. Historians have found evidence of treatments such as hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage and exercises being used in countries such as India and China thousands of years ago. In 460 BC, Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician traditionally regarded as the father of medicine, began to advocate the use of massage and manual therapy techniques for the treatment of certain conditions.


The earliest documented origins of actual physiotherapy as a professional group date back to Per Henrik Ling, who is known as the “Father of Swedish Gymnastics”. He founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics (RCIG) in 1813 for massage, manipulation, and exercise.


Physiotherapy has a rich history that spans thousands of years. From its early origins in ancient civilizations to its development as a professional group in the 19th century, physiotherapy has played an important role in helping people improve their movement and function.




Common Techniques in Physiotherapy



Manual therapy


This involves hands-on techniques such as joint mobilization and muscle stretching to improve mobility and function. This can include joint mobilization, which involves the passive movement of joints within their anatomical range of motion, and muscle stretching, which involves the elongation of muscles to improve flexibility.


Manual therapy can help relieve pain and stiffness, improve blood circulation, and promote relaxation. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. During a manual therapy session, a physiotherapist will use their hands to apply pressure and movement to the affected area. This can help to reduce muscle tension, improve joint mobility, and promote healing.



Massage and soft tissue techniques


These techniques can help relieve pain and stiffness, improve blood circulation, and promote relaxation. These techniques involve the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, using various manual techniques.


Soft tissue techniques, such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy, can also be used to target specific areas of tension or pain. During a massage or soft tissue therapy session, a physiotherapist will use their hands to apply pressure and movement to the affected area. This can help to reduce muscle tension, improve joint mobility, and promote healing.



Physiotherapy Taping


This technique involves the use of tape to support injured muscles or joints. Taping can help to reduce pain and swelling, improve joint alignment, and facilitate healing. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including sprains, strains, and tendonitis.


During a taping session, a physiotherapist will apply tape to the affected area in a specific pattern to provide support and stability. The tape is typically left in place for several days to provide ongoing support.



Acupuncture and Dry Needling


These techniques involve the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to help relieve pain and improve function. Both acupuncture and dry needling can help to reduce pain, improve muscle function, and promote relaxation. These techniques are often used in conjunction with other physiotherapy treatments to provide a comprehensive approach to pain management.


Acupuncture and dry needling are effective techniques used in physiotherapy to help relieve pain and improve function. Both techniques involve the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and relaxation.



Sports Physiotherapy


This specialized form of physiotherapy focuses on the treatment and prevention of sports-related injuries. Sports physiotherapists work with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, to help them achieve their goals.


They use a variety of techniques, including manual therapy, exercise therapy, and education and advice, to help athletes recover from injury and prevent future injuries. Sports physiotherapists also work with athletes to improve their strength, flexibility, and endurance. This can help to enhance athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury.



Education and advice


Physiotherapists can provide education and advice on ways to improve your wellbeing, such as by taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

Physiotherapy involves a range of techniques that can help improve movement and function. A physiotherapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and goals.


In conclusion, chronic pain is a common condition that can significantly impact a person’s life. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment option that can help reduce pain and improve mobility and function. If you suffer from chronic pain, consider seeking the help of a physiotherapist to improve your quality of life.




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