American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Chronic Pain: No Need to Suffer in Silence

Older woman with joint painIf you suffer from pain that lasts for months and lingers beyond the "normal" expected course for healing, you could be experiencing chronic pain.

You might have chronic pain if you frequently experience:

  • Headaches.

  • Joint pain.

  • Pain from injury.

  • Backaches.

  • Tendinitis.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.

The intensity of this pain can vary from shooting, burning or stabbing sensations to a "pins and needles" feeling. You can seek help for your chronic pain by documenting your experience, and then talking to your physician about possible treatment options.

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Treatment Options

Just as there are multiple types of chronic pain, there are a wide variety of treatment options, including medication and hands-on techniques.

One treatment shown to be effective in treating chronic pain for some patients is Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). DOs are trained to perform this series of hands-on techniques to help diagnose, treat and prevent injury and illness.

Using a whole-person approach to care, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, look beyond the symptoms of chronic pain to assess the impact of environmental and lifestyle factors on your health. They are trained to listen and partner with their patients, encouraging the body’s natural tendency toward self-healing.

“Effective pain treatment requires an individualized pain management program created through patient and physician collaboration,” explains Rob Danoff, DO, an osteopathic family physician in Philadelphia. “The treatment plan takes into account physical, emotional and mental symptoms.”

If you are living with chronic pain, Dr. Danoff recommends assessing your pain by identifying parts of the body where you experience pain and journaling aspects of your pain, including what triggers the pain and any side effects you experience. This information will help your physician develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs.


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