Physiotherapy works: Chronic pain
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Physiotherapy maximises activity, improves quality of life and promotes self-management for people with chronic pain.
What is chronic pain?
Chronic, persistent or long-term pain is pain continuing beyond 3 months or after healing is complete.(1)
Affecting adults and children, it may arise from tissue damage or
inflammation or have no identified cause. It can affect a specific body
area (e.g. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, low back pain (LBP), pelvic
pain) or be widespread (e.g. fibromyalgia). Chronic pain is a complex
condition with physical, social and psychological components, which can
lead to disability, loss of independence and poor quality of life (QoL).(2)
Cost of chronic pain
- Pain is the second most common reason for claiming incapacity benefit, costing £3.8 billion annually(17)
- £584 million a year is spent on prescriptions for pain(15)
- Annual healthcare costs for patients with chronic LBP are double those of matched controls (£1,074 vs. £516).(18)
Chronic back pain affects
- 1.6 million adults per year
- 7.8 million people in the UK live with chronic pain
- Chronic pain accounts for 4.6 million GP appointments per year
Physiotherapy in hospitals, clinics and the community aims to achieve
healthy levels of activity and self- management for people with chronic
pain.(3) Clinical and cost-effectiveness evidence supports
using a cognitive behavioural approach addressing both physical
limitations and people’s beliefs about, and understanding of, their
condition.(4) People with multiple health issues or whose
pain is causing significant physical, psychological or social problems
may require management by a multidisciplinary pain service. Specialist
physiotherapists identify reasons for lack of progress in
rehabilitation, such as fear avoidance of movement or unhelpful patterns
of over-and under-activity.
GP referral to services for advice and exercise improves outcomes and is cost-effective.(5)
Using a risk-stratification tool and providing risk-matched treatment
improves the condition, shortens time off work, reduces sickness
certification and healthcare costs.(6)
Manual therapy or acupuncture may produce short term benefit(7), but evidence supports the use of active treatments such as therapeutic exercise.(5) Multidisciplinary pain management programmes (PMP)(8)including physiotherapy(9) are an effective intervention for people with chronic pain(3,8) and cost-saving compared to physiotherapy alone.(10)
25% of people with chronic pain lose their jobs(15)
Physiotherapy supports and enables people with chronic pain to remain in or return to work.(3) Mindfulness(11)
and acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT) have been shown to be as
effective as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and are used in some
centres.(12) Physiotherapists signpost people to online and community resources to support ongoing selfmanagement.(3) Increasingly physiotherapists use prescribing skills to optimise medication use.(13)
The Best multi-centre randomised controlled trial, involving 56
general practices across seven English regions, compared active
management (AM) of patients with sub-acute or chronic LBP against AM
Outcomes measured included physical and mental QoL, fear avoidance
beliefs and pain self-efficacy. Cost utility was evaluated using NHS
costs. AM plus CBT had higher per-person costs (£178) and higher QoL. AM
is highly cost-effective at currently accepted thresholds: Cost per
quality-adjusted lifeyears (QALY) is about half that of competing LBP
Chronic pain can impact significantly upon physical, emotional and
social wellbeing. Physiotherapy utilising a broad scope of practice can
safely and cost-effectively support and guide people with long term pain
towards the best possible quality of life.
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Our Physio & Rehab Expertise
Specialist Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and specialist rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.
Areas of specialization
- physiotherapy: back and neck (spine), sports, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle
- hand therapy: forearm, wrist, hand and fingers
- podiatrist: leg, calf, ankle, foot and toes
- read more on our specializations here
All our therapists are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCM). See our entire team here by location and specialization.
Initially, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover. They then provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
To call for inquiries or appointments, please contact us at:
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SPECIALIST REHAB APPOINTMENTS & ENQUIRIES
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We are a wholly Singapore Private Limited group of licensed physiotherapists, hand therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, sports massage therapists, clinical pilates practitioners and TCM physicians practicing in our scope of rehabilitation and its areas of specializations. As listed in our website are the list of services we provide our clients as referred by their medical doctors or by self referrals/word of mouth.
The range of rehabilitation results vary from patients to patients, depending on a variety of factors and reasons such as severity of condition, genetics, gender and age. However, we will still deliver the best evidence-based-practice of physiotherapy, hand therapy, TCM, sports training and deep tissue release therapy that we can deliver.
The information available on this site is for educational purposes only, if you need a full professional advise on physiotherapy, hand therapy and occupational therapy, please schedule an appointment with us by contacting our staff by Call/SMS/WhatsApp at xx, thanks!