Why You Should Consider Physical Therapy to Combat Chronic Pain

How physical therapy helps, Why You Should Consider Physical Therapy to Combat Chronic Pain

Chronic pain -- which is pain that lasts for weeks, months, or even years -- makes it difficult to handle your daily obligations, to participate in hobbies, or even to relax. Pain can take over your life and leave you feeling hopeless.

Issues with side effects and the potential for addiction make using prescription pain relievers problematic for many people. If you feel like your only option is to live with the pain, you may want to learn a little about how physical therapy can help.

Physical therapy is recommended

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their guidelines for prescribing opioids. In those guidelines, the CDC notes that there is high-quality, scientific evidence that physical therapy can help lessen pain and increase functionality in numerous conditions that cause chronic pain -- for example, osteoarthritis in the hip or knee, low back pain, and fibromyalgia.

How physical therapy helps

Pain is often the result of tight, stiff joints and soft tissues. Physical therapy is a way to address that tightness and stiffness by improving your flexibility and your strength.

If it hurts to use your knees, for instance, you probably use them less in order to avoid the pain. Less use means more stiffness, which in turn, means more pain. Your physical therapist helps you begin to regain the ability to move.

You can expect your therapy to include a variety of activities. You may do stretches, low impact aerobic exercise, strengthening exercises, and exercises specifically to relieve your pain.

Depending on your needs, your therapist may also apply heat or ice, massage, ultrasound, low level light therapy, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), among other treatment options.

Have no fear

You may have heard scary stories about how difficult or painful physical therapy is, but your experience at Revive Medical is your own. Just because someone else struggled with physical therapy doesn’t mean that you will.

Our staff wants you to improve, live a life with less pain, and experience more freedom with better mobility. We work to make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be while getting there, but the truth is that physical therapy is often more work than people expect.

If you’ve been in chronic pain for months or years, you probably haven’t been able to exercise comfortably, so your muscles may be weak. We can help with that, but it’s going to take some work on your part.

It takes time

Physical therapy isn’t magic, and you’ll need to invest some time. You may require several appointments and need to do exercises at home, too, before you notice a change in how you feel.

Your body needs time to adjust to new levels of activity, and it takes time for your muscles to get stronger and more flexible. Slow but steady progress is far superior to no progress. Plus, when you approach lifestyle changes gradually, you’re more likely to stick with them.

If you’re ready to learn more about how physical therapy can be used to treat chronic pain, book an appointment online or by phone at Revive Medical. We’re happy to discuss the specifics of your situation and to recommend a treatment plan.

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