How physiotherapy helps chronic pain

Physiotherapists can play a critical role in helping patients manage acute and chronic pain experienced throughout the body.

physio assisting with shoulder pain

If you have found your pain levels are interrupting your daily life, seeking treatment from a physiotherapist can help.

Whether it’s acute or chronic, if pain doesn’t subside within a few days, you should consider consulting a health professional.

Sometimes the line between soreness and pain can be a bit blurred. It is essential to assess each patients’ situation and action a plan of treatment.

This will help you return to your favourite activities with less stress and less risk of doing harm or damage.

An insight into pain


While soreness is a feeling of discomfort that we humans can generally tolerate, pain is a different story.

Soreness is usually a sign that you did a bit more than what you are used to, and the muscles are not used to the physical exertion – a very normal but unpleasant feeling.

How to tell the difference:

  • Soreness usually peaks and then subsides 24 to 72 hours after physical activity.
  • With soreness, muscles feel tight and are often tender to the touch.
  • Muscles usually feel less sore after some gentle stretches.


Pain can be extremely unpleasant and is usually a sign that you have an injury.

A lasting soreness can be an indicator of pain, and it is not a sign of weakness to acknowledge that you are feeling discomfort.

Most of the time pain comes on sharp with a specific activity or mechanism and you know how you might have injured yourself.

How to recognise pain:

  • Pain is usually discomfort lasting longer than 72 hours with no sign of subsiding.
  • Pain lingers even after a period of rest and gentle stretching and movements makes pain worse.
  • Consulting with health professionals can help us learn to listen to our bodies and address acute pain before it becomes chronic.
taking control of chronic pain

Chronic pain

Chronic pain is basically pain that persists either continuous or recurrent beyond the normal time of healing, usually longer than 3 months.

Physiotherapists can assist with managing acute injuries, recovering after surgery as well as managing ongoing pain.

Physiotherapists can address pain conditions such as:

  • Muscle, nerve, and joint pain
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Headaches and whiplash
  • Conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and some nerve injuries

You will find that working with a physiotherapist will help to understand and address chronic pain and to take control of your life, which will improve your overall health.

Fear, anxiety, low mood, and sleep problems can all be linked to chronic pain.

chronic pain iceberg

Addressing your pain

Through years of experience and using evidence-based practice, Physiotherapists can address your chronic pain in an effective way.

This can be approached with education, manual therapy, safe exercises, electrotherapy, or relaxation therapy, to name just a few.

Your local Physio will be happy to assess you and create a fitting treatment plan with you.

Contact your nearest APM physiotherapist today to take control over your pain and change the way you see life.

You can book an appointment with an APM Physiotherapist online or in your local area by calling 0800 967 522.

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