March 20th, 2022
Physical Therapy Can Help You Find the Effective Relief You’ve Been Looking For!
Millions of people are living with chronic pain. Many of these people have turned to pain medication to deal with everything from back pain and joint pain to debilitating pain from accidents. Whether prescription or over-the-counter, there are several drawbacks to relying on these pain-relieving drugs.
Pain relief pills can sometimes interact with other drugs, are highly addictive, and ultimately only mask your symptoms, instead of actually treating them. Fortunately, physical therapy is a good alternative to long-term use of pain medications.
Physical therapy can help you govern your pain without drugs, giving you a chance to break away from your reliance on these potentially harmful medications.
What can I expect from a physical therapy treatment plan?
A trained physical therapist can use a variety of treatment methods to reduce or completely eliminate your pain. Manual therapy, which is also known as bodywork, is one of the most commonly used and effective types of treatment available. Manual therapies can include massage and joint manipulation.
There are several other specific techniques that a physical therapist may use to help alleviate pain, including:
- Ultrasound - Ultrasound works by using sound waves that generate heat. This ultimately promotes an increase in blood flow. Increased blood flow can promote healing in the affected areas.
- Graded Motor Imagery - This uses the brain's neural connections to eliminate pain. The therapy includes visualizing movement and training the brain to overcome different types of pain.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation - This is also called TENS, and it involves low voltage currents that stimulate a painful area of the body. The electricity reaches the body through electrodes attached to various areas on the skin. This can increase endorphins, which naturally reduce pain.
- Cold Laser Therapy - Cold lasers overwhelm injured tissues with photons. This can stimulate the healing process in cells that are damaged. When the healing process begins, this naturally reduces the level of pain.
How can physical therapy help with pain relief?
While the thought of doing exercises, or almost any type of physical activity, may sound unpleasant to a person living with pain, the right kind of movement can be extremely helpful. Physical therapy targets the area of your pain and works on treating the condition instead of temporarily masking it.
A physical therapy routine can improve your overall strength and endurance. It can also improve joint stability and increase joint and muscle flexibility. According to PT in Motion, physical therapy can even help rewire the brain to reduce chronic pain. There are several conditions that physical therapy can help.
- Neuropathic Pain Caused by Injuries
- Chronic Headaches
- Osteoarthritis Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are you taking opioids? If so, you may want to rethink it
Many people who become addicted to opioids were first prescribed by a medical doctor to treat acute or chronic pain. The problem is, opioid medications:
- Are associated with an increased risk of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and depression
- Only hide symptoms of pain—they don't address the underlying causes, which makes opioids less cost-effective over time
- Can be highly addictive
The opioid epidemic is a very real (and very deadly) problem. It's believed that some 2 million Americans suffer from an opioid use disorder such as addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 130 people die from opioid overdoses every day here in the U.S. Since 1999, the number of opioid-related deaths has multiplied sixfold.
Why should I opt for physical therapy?
There are several reasons why physical therapy is a great alternative to relying on pain medications. One of the primary reasons for choosing physical therapy is that it can treat the root causes and not just the symptoms of your pain.
While pain medication may give you immediate relief, it doesn't last. Pain meds cause you to stay in an endless cycle of taking more and more drugs to ease your pain. Additionally, there are also the costs that need to be considered: years of prescription drugs, even at a reasonable price, are likely to add up to more than the cost of PT treatments.
Ready to get started?
While taking pain medication for a short time may be effective, physical therapy is a much better option for long-term pain relief.
An experienced physical therapist can perform a complete assessment of your current condition and create a customized therapy plan that is right for you. With the help of physical therapy, you can start enjoying reduced pain in your life - contact us today!