For many people, dealing with chronic pain involves staying in bed, not moving, taking painkillers, and using a heating pad. While moving around might seem intimidating, it might actually be the most effective treatment to help you manage chronic pains.
Physical therapy could be very helpful in treating various types of neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain.
Managing Pain with Physical Therapy
Physical therapy or rehabilitation is commonly used for easing pain stemming from chronic headaches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain, which is basically pain from nerve or tissue damage. One of the physical therapy’s primary goals is to aid individuals suffering from chronic pain become stronger since they’re typically weak because they’re not moving, explains a renowned physical rehabilitation center in Chandler, Arizona. As a treatment for chronic pain, it could teach individuals to move in a safe and functional manner that they probably have not been able to do in a long time.
Physical Therapy Options for Chronic Pain
Some of the most widely used pain management treatments for chronic pain include the following:
- Manual therapy through the use of tools or hands
- Manipulation of bones and joints
- Cold laser therapy for relieving pain and inflammation and promoting the release of endorphins
- Exercise and movement therapy, which usually includes swimming and/or walking on the treadmill, depending on the physical abilities and pain level of the patient
- Microcurrent stimulation, a technique that discharges alpha waves into your brain in order to ease pain naturally through increasing your dopamine and serotonin levels
Treating Chronic Pain with Physical Therapy
Exercising even for 30 minutes daily, three times a week at the very least, would help you manage your chronic pain symptoms by:
- Boosting your endurance
- Strengthening your muscles
- Increasing joint and muscle flexibility
- Making your joints stronger and more stable
Performing therapeutic exercises regularly would likewise help you control your pain and maintain your ability to function and move easily, instead of limiting your movement due to pain. In addition, physical therapy deals with the physical aspect of soreness, stiffness, and inflammation through massage and manipulation, which helps your body heal itself by encouraging it to produce natural chemicals for easing the pain. This multifaceted strategy makes physical therapy effective in managing chronic pain.
Finding The Best Combination for Managing Chronic Pain
Although physical therapy, considering that it’s done with a licensed and reputable physical therapist, could be immensely helpful for managing chronic pain, it’s vital to note that it’s just a component of a combination treatment for chronic pain management. For example, in addition to physical therapy, some people benefit from additional treatments such as cold and heat therapy, taking nutritional supplements, or TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy.
Additionally, your pain management team should ideally include not just your physical therapist, but a general practitioner, pharmacist, and if needed, a psychologist. Combine all these elements together and it would lead you to the most effective treatment for your chronic pain woes. With the right approach and your determination to live a pain-free life, you can achieve your goal.