Chronic Pain Doesn’t Mean Permanent Pain

If you’ve ever been on “Doctor Google”, or maybe your real healthcare provider told you that you have chronic pain, that can be a scary, disappointing, disheartening, upsetting, and (insert other negative emotion) thing to hear.

I honestly don’t meet too many people that are excited about the idea of having chronic pain.

I’ve personally had patients that are really worried about being classified as having “chronic pain” not just for the obvious reasons, but because it is often associated with being forever.

It’s really important that if you have been dealing with pain for months or years, that doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence.

In fact, if we excluded all of the people that have had surgery or a major life event happen that lead them to therapy, most people don’t seek out physical therapy until their pain is chronic.

With the right plan of care, these people still get better.

What exactly is chronic pain?

While pain can be described in a hundred different ways it is generally categorized in one of two ways: acute or chronic.

Acute pain means that the onset of pain or an injury happened recently. Chronic pain

Chronic pain on the other hand means that the pain has been around for greater than 3 months. That’s it. There are differences between the two. From a physical therapy perspective prognosis is often better with acute pain rather than chronic pain, but it is very important to note that just because pain has been lingering for more than three months, does not mean it is a life sentence.

Chronic pain does NOT equal forever pain.

In fact, most of the time people don’t even seek out physical therapy until their pain would be technically classified as chronic.

Obviously, it’s highly dependent upon situation and many factors, but it’s not uncommon for people to have “chronic” pain and be completely pain free after a physical therapy plan of care.

If you’ve had pain sticking around for too long, and it’s getting in the way of things you would like to do, reach out to Switchback Direct Physical Therapy today to find out how we can help.


Dr. Tyler Burke

DPT, Owner and Founder of Switchback Direct PT

We help injured outdoor enthusiasts to stop hurting and start adventuring.

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