If you’re one of the over 100 million Americans living under the yoke of chronic pain, you may feel as though you’ve exhausted your treatment options. All too often, our patients here at Nebben Physical Medicine in Clarksville, Tennessee, come to us in pain and desperation.
That is, until we tell them all of their options for relief.
When you think of physical therapy, you may envision an athlete trying to recover from an injury, and you’d be right. Physical therapy is an excellent tool for rehabilitation.
But you may not realize it’s also an option if you have chronic pain from causes such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, and sciatica. Physical therapy is a versatile, noninvasive, medication-free way to recover from almost every source of chronic pain.
Here, our team breaks down how physical therapy works for chronic pain and highlights ways it can benefit you.
What does a physical therapist do?
Your physical therapy journey starts with an evaluation. Your therapist asks about your pain and any patterns you’ve noticed. They discuss past treatments and how well they worked. They may also perform tests that assess your range of motion, posture, strength, balance, and endurance.
You then get a customized physical therapy plan that sets realistic, attainable goals, such as pain relief, increased range of motion, improved strength, and enhanced mobility.
Here’s a closer look at some key benefits of physical therapy for chronic pain.
1. It features a variety of options
Physical therapy encompasses a wide range of therapies, treatments, and modalities. That means we can address your pain from all angles. Your customized plan may include one or more of the following:
We can also introduce you to pain neuroscience education (PNE), a newer physical therapy approach that helps you better understand your pain to overcome it more effectively.
2. It’s virtually risk-free
Physical therapy treatments include massage, ultrasound, joint mobilization, nerve stimulation, and heat therapy. All are natural treatments with little to no risk of adverse effects, especially when compared with other pain relief methods, such as surgery and prescription medication.
3. It addresses pain at the source
Your physical therapist’s goal is to reduce your pain, but more importantly, they want to address what’s causing it.
That’s why physical therapy is so effective for so many. Rather than masking symptoms with a painkiller for a few hours, we target the source of your pain to help you heal and feel better. It may be more work than taking a pill, but the result is genuine pain relief that lasts.
4. You can take it home with you
With physical therapy, you’re an active participant in your recovery. We prescribe basic exercises and stretches you can do at home, each tailored to your needs and ability levels.
5. It can help get you moving again
Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of living with chronic pain is giving up your favorite activities. Physical therapy offers you a way back to normal by strengthening your body, reducing stiffness and swelling, and ultimately getting you to feel healthier from the inside out.
6. The sessions don’t take long
If you’re picturing hours in a workout room, slugging it out on a treadmill, don’t panic. Your physical therapy sessions are tailored to what you need and can do physically. They usually last only 30-60 minutes, so you don’t have to put your schedule on hold to get treatment.
7. You don’t have to rely on medication
Many doctors’ first instinct when treating chronic pain is to prescribe medication. While medication is sometimes necessary, it’s not always the best route. You can quickly find yourself dependent.
If you’re looking for a more natural approach to your pain and want to avoid the potential risks of taking prescription medication, physical therapy may be just the ticket.
Want to learn more about physical therapy and how it can help you? We’d love to talk with you. Call or click to schedule an appointment with Nebben Physical Medicine today.