Get rid of the pain by partnering up with a physical therapist. Give Physical Therapy & Rehab Specialists a call today to learn more about how our physical therapists can get you on the path to a pain-free life.
Physical Therapy for Pain Relief
According to WebMD, “Physical therapy is often one of the best choices you can make when you have long-term pain (also called chronic pain) or an injury. It can make you stronger and help you move and feel better.” The goal of physical therapy is to reduce and eliminate pain while improving mobility and function.
During a physical therapy session, you may engage in low-impact aerobic training, strengthening exercises, pain-relief exercises and stretching. Low-impact exercises go easy on the joints and pump up your heart rate. You might be asked to use a stationary bike or to walk fast. You’ll likely be given exercises to work on your core muscles. Using your own body weight with pushups and lunges may be part of the treatment plan. Pain relief exercises designed to target the areas where you have pain will also be done. And with stretching exercises, you’ll be relaxing those muscles.
Physical therapists also use other modalities to achieve pain relief for the patient. Heat packs or ice packs may be applied to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation. Massage therapy is a gentle therapy that helps reduce muscle spasms and helps your body to relax. Soft-tissue mobilization is used to increase mobility by addressing fibrous areas of muscle tissue. Direct manipulation of the joints can be done to improve functioning and maintain proper alignment. Electric stimulation therapy sends an electric current to the affected area to reduce pain. Ultrasound therapy sends sound waves to the affected area and blocks pain messages that are sent to the brain.
In addition, a physical therapist can educate you about sensory re-education for chronic pain. Even after an injury has healed, the nervous system may still send pain signals. Sensory re-education helps desensitize the nervous system and decrease sensitivity to the affected area.
All around, physical therapy is a noninvasive and holistic approach to pain management. You can avoid having to go under the knife or getting addicted to those pain meds with physical therapy. A physical therapist will do a comprehensive evaluation to determine the root cause of your pain and develop an individualized treatment plan that targets the root cause.
Some Stats on the Efficacy of Physical Therapy for Pain
According to the APTA, “Studies have established the efficacy of physical therapy in treating and reducing pain as well as preventing chronic pain.
- Low back pain: A review of more than 60 randomized controlled trials evaluating exercise therapy for adults with low back pain found that such treatment can decrease pain, improve function and help people return to work. The American College of Physicians states that “non-pharmacologic interventions are considered first-line options in patients with chronic low back pain because fewer harms are associated with these types of therapies than with pharmacologic options.”
- Before and after surgery: A review of 35 randomized controlled studies with a total of nearly 3,000 patients found that in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty, preoperative exercise and education led to significant reductions in pain, shorter lengths of stay postoperatively and improvements in function.
- Arthritis: Studies have shown that therapeutic exercise programs can reduce pain and improve physical function among individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis.