At PPOA, we believe that well-rounded care is the best strategy for chronic pain treatment and prevention. A personalized medical plan combining medical interventions, therapies, and medications when needed helps our patients recover faster and get back to enjoying a complete lifestyle, free of pain. However, many of our patients don’t understand just how vital this holistic style of treatment is for their recovery.
Many of our patients come to us expecting surgical and medication options for pain. Instead, we often recommend physical therapy as the first line of defense against chronic pain. It can empower you to ease your pain through various exercises and routines that give you mobility back.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is often used to restore mobility and function to a part of the body that has undergone severe trauma. For example, if the nerves in your legs are damaged after a car accident, physical therapy can help you relearn to walk and run. In addition, it can help amputees, those with damaged joints, and those who are stiff and unsteady due to chronic pain conditions.
Some of the most common uses and benefits of physical therapy include:
- Alleviating chronic or acute pain
- Maintaining mobility and lifestyle as you age
- Faster recovery from injuries
- Improves sports performance, especially after an injury
- Restoring range of motion in joints
- Improving strength in joints
Examples of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, your therapist may implement a variety of exercises, stretches, and practices to give you the best relief from your pain possible, including:
Low-impact exercise. Suppose you are working on improving mobility or general fitness after an injury. In that case, low-impact activities such as walking at a fast pace or swimming can help your body move and improve without the risk of further injury.
Muscle-strengthening exercises. Physical therapists use machines and resistance exercises to help patients build strength in weakened or atrophied muscles. Your movements will be modified to ensure you don’t re-injure yourself but will be challenging enough for you to see results within just a few sessions.
Pain relief exercises. More targeted pain relief exercises and stretches are used for aching joints and muscles. If you overuse specific muscles or joints such as the knees, back, or wrist, these exercises can help you find relief at the end of the day.
Massage. Massage is used to relax the muscles and work on areas of acute pain. While these massages may feel tense at first, you’ll begin to feel your muscles relax and unwind after a few sessions.
TENS and ultrasound. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a physical therapy tool used to relax and relieve muscle pain by sending electrical vibrations through the affected area. Ultrasound machines are used similarly and can provide relief in very few sessions.
Will It Hurt?
Physical therapy is made to relieve pain, not cause it. While strength and mobility training exercises can be challenging, you should never be n pain during them. Expect a little sore after your sessions, like after a workout, but nothing more.
PPOA encourages those suffering from chronic pain to look into physical therapy options at their local PPOA clinic. We offer various treatment options to help you feel better and regain control of your life.