Riley Physiotherapists

Riley Physiotherapy, Gillitts, Hillcrest & Kloof practices

Chronic Pain

Riley Physiotherapy

Gillitts, Kloof & Hillcrest practices

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a persistent or recurring pain that lasts for an extended period, typically lasting for at least three to six months or more. Unlike acute pain, which is a normal sensation triggered by the nervous system as a response to injury or tissue damage, chronic pain persists even after the injury or underlying cause has healed.

This is often a result of central sensitisation, a process by which the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) becomes hypersensitive to stimuli, leading to an increased perception of pain. It occurs when there is a persistent or repeated input of pain signals that leads to changes in the structure and function of the central nervous system.

Central sensitisation can occur in various conditions, including chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as in response to injury or surgery. It is often associated with changes in the brain’s processing of pain signals and can also cause other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances and mood changes.

How Chronic Pain is managed

The treatment of chronic pain is challenging and typically involves a multidisciplinary approach, including physiotherapy, medication and cognitive-behavioural therapy.

Physiotherapists involved in the treatment of chronic pain use a psychologically-informed rehabilitation approach. This may include educating patients about the latest pain neuroscience, manual therapy, graded exposure to physical activity in a safe manner, specific targeted exercises, relaxation, self-management techniques and advice about basic nutrition, sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes  The goal is to reduce pain levels and improve physical function, despite pain, and assist the person in doing the things that mean something to them, to “get their life back.”

Riley Physiotherapists have physiotherapists with a special interest in chronic pain rehabilitation. Contact us today for an appointment.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for those with chronic pain:

  1. Pain Reduction: Physiotherapy can help reduce pain levels through various techniques such as exercise therapy, manual therapy, relaxation techniques, self-management techniques and lifestyle changes.
  2. Improved Physical Function: Chronic pain can lead to reduced physical function, such as limited mobility and difficulty carrying out daily activities. Physiotherapy can help improve physical function by safely implementing activity programs and strengthening muscles, improving range of motion, and enhancing balance and coordination.
  3. Reduced Dependency on Medications: Physiotherapy can help individuals reduce their dependence on pain medications by providing alternative pain management strategies.
  4. Improved Quality of Life: Chronic pain can impact an individual’s emotional well-being, social interaction and overall quality of life. Physiotherapy can help improve emotional well-being, restore social connections, and enhance overall quality of life.
  5. Patient Empowerment: Physiotherapists can empower patients with understanding of their condition and appropriate self-management strategies, so that they are able to make their own decisions, manage their own condition and lead fulfilling lives.

When Chronic Pain Physiotherapy should be commenced

    Physiotherapy for chronic pain should be considered as soon as possible. Chronic pain can lead to significant physical and emotional impairments, and early intervention can help prevent further deterioration of these conditions.

    Physiotherapy for chronic pain is typically recommended when:

    1. The pain is affecting daily activities: Chronic pain can impact an individual’s ability to carry out daily activities such as work, household chores, or leisure activities. Physiotherapy can help individuals improve their physical function and reduce their dependence on medications.
    2. Pain is impacting mental health: Chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Physiotherapy can help individuals learn coping strategies to manage their pain and improve their emotional well-being.
    3. Pain is affecting sleep: Chronic pain can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and further physical and emotional impairment. Rehabilitation can help individuals improve their sleep quality, which can, in turn, reduce pain levels.
    4. Pain is affecting overall quality of life: Chronic pain can impact an individual’s ability to enjoy life fully. Physiotherapy can help individuals improve their physical function, emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

    Price of Physiotherapy for Chronic Pain

    The cost of Physiotherapy will vary depending on various aspects of your condition. Chronic pain programs often take weeks or months, or even years. For affordability, physiotherapists often spread out treatment sessions as soon as possible, whilst giving patients much rehabilitation to do themselves.

    We offer medical aid rates.

    Please contact us if you need any further information on pricing.

    How we can help

    There are physiotherapists at our Gillitts, Hillcrest and Kloof practices with extensive training and experience in chronic pain management. They offer up-to-date evidence-based physiotherapy for chronic pain conditions.

    How to Schedule and Appointment


    Book an appointment via:

    Phone: 031 764 2750  (preferred)
    Link to contact form:


    Book an appointment via:

    Phone: 031 764 2750  (preferred)
    Link to contact form:


    Book an appointment via:

    Phone: 031 767 3989  (preferred)
    Juli-Ann Riley Physios
    Link to contact form:

    Additional Services for Chronic Pain

    Juli-Ann Riley runs the “Relieve” Chronic Pain Management clinic, with an Occupational Therapist, at Juli-Ann Riley Physiotherapists in Kloof (Femina Health).

    This specialised team assists those with very severe chronic pain conditions, usually through their disability insurers, although private rehabilitation programs can also be arranged.

    Please email Juli on to enquire or book for this specialised service.

    Our Location


    The Gillitts Medical Centre, 15 Old Main Rd, Gillitts, 3610. Kwazulu Natal,
    South Africa.


    Le Domaine Health, Le Domaine Estate, 100 Acutts Drive, Hillcrest, 3610. Kwazula Natal, South Africa.

    KLOOF BRANCH:        

    Juli-Ann Riley Physiotherapists, Femina Health, 75 Old Main Rd, Kloof 3610, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

    Frequently asked questions about Physiotherapy & Chronic Pain

    1. Is physiotherapy safe for individuals with chronic pain?

    Yes, physiotherapy is safe for individuals with chronic pain. Physiotherapists that treat chronic pain conduct thorough assessments and devise treatment plans appropriate to your condition.

    2. How long does it take to see results from physiotherapy for chronic pain?

    The results of physiotherapy for chronic pain may vary depending on the severity of the pain, underlying conditions, and individual response to treatment. Some individuals may see results within a few sessions, while others may require longer treatment duration.

    3. How often should individuals with chronic pain undergo physiotherapy?

    The frequency of physiotherapy for individuals with chronic pain may vary depending on the severity of the pain and individual response to treatment. A healthcare professional can determine the appropriate frequency of treatment. Usually treatment is commenced once or twice a week, and then the interval between sessions is increased, with the patient continuing their rehabilitation at home.

    4. Can physiotherapy cure chronic pain?

    There is no known cure for chronic pain, but physiotherapy can help manage and reduce pain levels and improve function and quality of life.

    5. What can individuals expect during a physiotherapy session for chronic pain?

    During a physiotherapy session for chronic pain, individuals can expect an in-depth review of their medical history and pain experience, various standardised self-report questionnaires, extensive physical tests and the development of a treatment plan. The treatment may involve various interventions such as counselling, exercise therapy, relaxation techniques and manual therapy.


    PLEASE NOTE: This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a health professional consultation. Anyone experiencing a medical condition or requiring physiotherapy should book an appointment with us for a complete assessment.

    Contact Us

    We’re just a phone call away.


    Riley Physiotherapists

    The Gillitts Medical Centre, 15 Old Main Rd, Gillitts, 3610. Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

    TEL031 764 2750


    Juli-Ann Riley Physiotherapists

    Femina Health, 75 Old Main Rd, Kloof 3610, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

    TEL: 031 767 3989



    Le Domaine Health

    Le Domaine Health, 100 Acutts Drive, Hillcrest, 3610, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

    Bookings: 031 355 0030


    All private homes in the upper Highway Nursing homes

    including Rob Roy, Winston Park Rest Home, Waterfall Gardens & Le Domaine Care (and others)

    Bookings: 031 764 2750

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