We may not be able to avoid pain, but we can take action to minimize it. Pain that does not subside after a few days of self-care requires medical attention. Your doctor can help you design a life with less pain.
Chronic bone and joint pain
Any time you sit, stand, walk or perform any of your daily activities, you are using your bones and joints. It is not normal to experience pain in your bones and joints that make you wince when you move – this is not what it means to get older. Chronic pain is generally pain that is present for more than three months. It can be caused by accidents, injuries, underlying disease, muscle strains and even stress. It is often progressive and the cause can be difficult to determine. Common problems that can cause chronic bone and joint pain include:
- Osteoporosis – a condition of decreased bone strength
- Arthritis – an inflammation of one or more joints
- Bone spurs – bony projections that form along the edges of bones
- Repetitive stress injuries – a group of injuries that occur when too much stress is placed on one part of the body
Only your doctor can perform the physical exam and order the appropriate tests necessary to diagnose and treat your chronic bone and joint pain. When caught early, these problems can be more easily and more effectively treated – even prevented!
Physical and occupational therapy for injury and pain
Physical and occupational therapy is one of the first steps to manage your pain. Physical therapists can help you deal with pain and improve your mobility through exercise, water therapy and use of heat and cold. Occupational therapists can teach you how to perform daily activities more easily.
Still not convinced? A therapist is an expert who can:
- Help you set realistic goals and design a plan for you to achieve them.
- Coach you in your movements.
- Keep you motivated and on track.
- Teach you proper form.
- Modify your treatment if appropriate.
- Answer your questions.
- Track and properly evaluate your progress.