By any reasonable standards, ours is a highly medicated society. Scan any grocery store or pharmacy aisle and you’ll see all kinds of over-the-counter painkilling drugs. Doctors routinely write prescriptions for heavier pain relievers, including the opioid drugs that have become a national abuse nightmare. If you’re tired of suffering from chronic pain but you’re not ready to turn your body into an ongoing chemistry experiment, you’ll be happy to know that physical therapy can give you safer, healthier, longer-lasting pain relief. Let’s explore how this form of natural treatment could make all the difference in your quality of life.
A Healthy Alternative to Opioid, Steroid and NSAID Use
If you follow the media at all, you’ve heard about the serious dangers of opioid medications. These narcotics, which include both prescription medicines and illicit drugs, kill at least 115 American every day via overdose. Opioids are not only tremendously powerful and have the potential for dangerous interactions with other drugs, they frequently lead to addiction as well. Another class of prescription painkiller, steroids, can also pose risk and dangers. Epidural steroid injections to relieve pain can contribute to cataracts, arthritis in the hips, elevated blood sugar, stomach ulcers, and nerve damage from the injection itself. Even ordinary NSAIDs such as ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding and liver problems — and they offer only temporary pain relief.
Physical therapy may allow you to sweep all of those risks, worries and unpleasant effects aside. While some cases of severe pain might still require some pharmaceutical intervention, physical therapy can help many patients greatly reduce — or even eliminate — their reliance on pain killing medications. Our physical therapist can use a combination of techniques to treat a wide range of painful problems, from acute injuries and post-operative wounds to chronic pain syndromes and conditions. This is especially good news if you’re looking for some form of ongoing chronic pain management that doesn’t involve constant dosages of drugs or if you’re already on essential medications and you worry about their interactions with painkillers.
How Our Physical Therapist Helps You Feel Better
Our physical therapist treats each and every individual on a personal basis since every human body and every condition is different. Your physical therapy pain relief or pain management plan may vary according to your specific problem. If you’re suffering from a recent acute injury, for example, we may use massage therapy, ultrasound, heat, ice and other techniques to ease your pain and jump-start the healing process.
Once you’re safely able to move to exercises, our physical therapist can prescribe gentle stretches, walking, cycling, swimming or other motions to help mobilize your body. These forms of physical therapy are good for helping soft tissues move more easily and comfortably and for keeping arthritic joints mobile and lubricated. Strengthening exercises can rehabilitate damaged muscles so they can perform without pain. Exercises can also help you maintain a straighter posture and ease pain from spinal nerve compression. These techniques work: An 11-year study of chronic pain sufferers showed that regular exercise meant less pain.
Effective physical therapy isn’t just the work of the physical therapist — it also depends on the efforts of the patient. We will take the time to educate you about the nature of your pain and the importance of following your routine faithfully. But it’s still up to you to engage fully in the journey toward pain relief.
Just Say No to Drugs — and Yes to Our Physical Therapist
Drugs aren’t your only pain management option. Call our physical therapist today to learn more about your natural alternatives!