Chronic pain is a significant global health burden – with low back pain causing more disability than any other condition. The role of physiotherapists in helping people with chronic pain to take control of their condition, increase their activity, and improve their quality of life is the theme of this year’s World Physical Therapy Day on 8 September 2019.
Chronic pain can be associated with a wide range of conditions including low back pain, cervical and thoracic pain, shoulder pain, headache disorders, cancer, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Physiotherapists have unique skills to recommend specific exercise programmes to help relieve chronic pain.
“People who have chronic pain tell us that it can be difficult to get or stay active. But a physical therapist can work with you to suggest activities or a programme that’s right for you. They can help you understand how pain works, reduce your fears around pain, educate you about your condition, encourage you to take part safely in physical activity, build your confidence, help you remain or return to work or participate in activities that allow you to live life the way you want to. Talk to a physical therapists and discover how they can help you learn self-management techniques to manage your pain.”
The benefits of using exercise to manage chronic pain include:
“I am proud to be part of a profession that is at the forefront of restoring vitality and wellbeing to those who suffer from chronic pain; an affliction that fells people in its clutches and left unchecked, can have such a damaging impact on every aspect of a person’s life. The physical, emotional and financial toll of chronic pain cannot be underestimated. The fact that physiotherapists are the experts best placed to support their patients/clients in developing requisite skills and strategies to regain control over their condition, increase their activity and restore quality of life, is testament to the scale of their contribution to global health.”