Chronic injury and illness are defined as any longstanding injury, illness or pain lasting more than 4-6 months in duration, well beyond normal physiologic healing times. The pain and dysfunction may come and go (flare ups) or be constant in nature. The injury and pain may have progressed from an acute injury or illness or may have started from a diffuse, gradual and unidentifiable onset. However, more often than not, an identifiable source of pain cannot be located.
Examples of Common Chronic Injuries/Illnesses
- Nerve Injuries/Impingements
- Chronic Joint Disease, including neck and back
- Overuse Syndromes
- Pain Syndromes
- Chronic Illnesses, including reactive arthritis and fibromyalgia
- Myofascial syndromes, including scar adhesions
Historically, chronic injuries and illnesses have been poorly managed and misunderstood. Due to the varied nature and sometimes unidentifiable source of pain, interventions otherwise successful on acute injuries tend to fail when applied to chronic injury and illnesses. However, we now know that chronic injuries and illnesses somehow alter the nervous system causing increased sensitivity and abnormal pain responses. For this reason, even when an injury or illness is well documented, chronic injuries must be treated differently to ensure a successful outcome.
In my clinic, I do a thorough examination to identify any abnormal neurologic and metabolic processes that may be contributing to chronic injury or illness. Once identified, I incorporate specific interventions to decrease the sensitivity and abnormal pain responses from the nervous system prior to initiating any functional retraining. By respecting the altered nature of the nervous system, pain and dysfunction are decreased, while function and mobility are improved, leading to a much more successful outcome.
Once diagnosed by an Approved Medical Provider (AMP), referral to skilled physical therapy may or may not require a referral. Please refer to the section on Direct Access to determine if a prescription is required.