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I Just Had Surgery. Why Do I Still Have Pain?

I Just Had Surgery. Why Do I Still Have Pain?

You expect to feel a bit of discomfort as you heal after surgery. However, those symptoms should be manageable and subside at some point. When that doesn’t happen, you can quickly find yourself in a cycle of pain and dangerous pain management methods. 

The more time you spend in pain, the more you risk becoming dependent on prescription medication. 

At Nebben Physical Medicine, we think there’s a better way. Dr. John Bassell and our team of experts want to help you understand why surgical pain happens and highlight ways to manage it without prescriptions or more invasive procedures. 

Why you’re still in pain

Surgical pain is complicated because there are several possible causes. If you’ve had major surgery, the procedure itself can wreak havoc on your body. 

You may also experience lingering post-operative pain if your surgeon used undue force or made a mistake during your procedure — even the position you were in on the surgical table can trigger chronic discomfort.

Types of surgical pain

All pain is, well, painful, but it’s not all the same, especially when it comes to pain after surgery. Here are a few types of post-operative pain.

Nociceptive pain

Nociceptive pain usually stems from tissue damage — something surgery is notorious for. A surgical procedure can cause you to feel a variety of nociceptive pains. 

For instance, you may feel superficial discomfort at the site of the incision, deep somatic pain that comes from incisions made through your muscles and internal tissues, or visceral pain from surgical damage to your internal organs. 

Neuropathic pain

Surgery can also cause nerve damage and trigger neuropathic pain. The two main types of neuropathic pain are central neuropathic pain (CNP) and peripheral neuropathic pain. 

CNP occurs when your brain or spinal cord has been damaged. Peripheral neuropathic pain indicates nerves outside your central nervous system have been damaged.

Referred pain

When your brain can’t tell where the pain is coming from, you have what’s called referred pain. This happens when your brain receives mixed messages from different parts of your body through one set of nerves. Patients often experience referred pain after surgery.

How we can help

Depending on the cause and type of surgical pain you’re experiencing, we select from our wide range of pain therapy treatments. We’re proud to offer everything from advanced technology to tried-and-true therapies. Here’s a closer look at some of your options. 

K-Laser therapy

K-Laser therapy is a revolutionary treatment that harnesses the power of light energy to promote healing, relieve pain, increase circulation, and reduce painful swelling. We use a hand-held device to deliver laser energy to the treatment area — no incisions or anesthesia required.


Like K-Laser therapy, Acousana® therapy is a noninvasive approach to pain management. It uses scientifically proven SoftWave technology to penetrate deep into your body’s tissues to encourage healing, improve circulation, decrease inflammation, and ultimately end your pain. 


Trigger point injections target tight bands of muscle tissue called trigger points to ease the tension associated with chronic pain.

Joint injections help relieve pain in just about any joint in your body. Depending on your needs, we may recommend steroid or hyaluronic acid injections to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and lubricate your joints.

Physical therapy

In addition to more advanced treatments, we may suggest you begin a physical therapy program. Physical therapy helps you manage pain through strengthening and stretching exercises that build muscle and encourage healing.

Chiropractic care

With chiropractic care, we use various adjustment techniques to reduce chronic pain. These adjustments realign your body to relieve stress on your still-healing body and reduce your pain. 

Ready to finally not be in pain? We’d love to talk with you. Call our friendly staff at 931-313-3843 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at our Clarksville, Tennessee, office today.

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