Orthopaedic Pain Therapy
Most appointments with an orthopaedist are due to pain. We often only visit the doctor when a particular part of our body hurts and if the pain lasts for some time. The same applies to severe pain immediately after a fall or accident. In this instance, we are talking about acute pain, which signals to our body that something is wrong.
However, the primary aim of orthopaedic pain therapy is to prevent or relieve chronic pain that has lasted for a long time because it no longer serves as a warning mechanism of the body. It is, therefore, unnecessary and makes everyday life harder. Pain patients often suffer from both pain while moving and pain at rest. As such, the body can never relax.
Where does pain come from?
Pain is an individual feeling that is triggered by sensors in our body. Our joint capsules, muscle attachments, and ligaments are equipped with mechanical pain receptors, the so-called nociceptors. They react to mechanical stimuli, forward them to the nervous system and thus send the signal of 'pain' to our body.
If pain persists over a long period, the nociceptors can become increasingly sensitive. The pain also intensifies in the event of small stimuli. In addition, our nerves become used to permanent pain and develop a 'pain memory', leaving the body trapped in a vicious cycle of ever-increasing pain. Essentially, we develop a 'pain disorder'. Treatment with pain medication is only given in high doses over a short period to grant the patient a brief respite and to interrupt the cycle. In other instances, orthopaedic pain therapy is applied.
General principles of Orthopaedic Pain Therapy
Pain therapy is a complex system of different treatments and is only carried out by physicians with appropriate training. The broad goal is to eliminate the cause of the pain while trying to overcome restrictions or instability of movement with aids at the same time. Manual therapy, physiotherapy, orthopaedic aids, bandages , and local injections are used. In many cases, a consultation with a neurologist or psychotherapist is necessary if disorders of the nervous system are to be excluded or if the patient needs support in their everyday life.
Nevertheless, pain therapy always begins with a detailed diagnosis to locate the exact source of the pain, which may be in a completely different location than the part of the body affected, as indicated by the patient.