Physical therapy offers proven strategies for reducing or even fully alleviating chronic pain.
Oftentimes, we associate physical therapy (PT) primarily with recovery from knee replacement or hip replacement surgery; or with recovery from a broken leg or ankle. But physical therapy can also be very effective in treating chronic pain.
Along with other movement-based therapies—e.g. Feldenkrais Method—physical therapy offers proven strategies for reducing or even fully alleviating chronic pain. For this reason, it's well worth considering, if you or a loved one is struggling with spinal, muscular or joint pain—or for any other reason require effective pain management.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Based upon the unique needs of each individual, a physical therapist designs a therapeutic routine that helps the patient restore comfort and regain their physical abilities. Skillfully applied physical therapy relieves pain, improves mobility, and enhances balance, strength, flexibility and coordination. It can help to relieve chronic pain—as well as address the effects of a more recent injury or illness before it becomes a chronic condition.
In short, physical therapy is a therapeutic modality designed to promote and restore the normal function of all bodily systems and can function as a primary pain management tool.
How Physical Therapy Resolves Chronic Pain
In order to reduce or resolve chronic pain, a physical therapist will design a routine which, over time, will:
- Increase joint mobility
- Build muscle strength
- Improve correct alignment and stability in the joints
- Restore optimal postural habits
In combination, these goals work to reduce or fully eliminate chronic pain and restore physical comfort and ease of movement.
Conditions Treated By Physical Therapy
A wide variety of injuries and illnesses can be effectively treated via physical therapy. These include:
- Low-back and hip pain
- Carpal-tunnel syndrome
- TMJ disorders
- Chronic or acute neck pain
- Chronic headache
- Rotator cuff strains and tears
- Knee pain .
- Fractures and other physical injuries
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- Neurological conditions such as stroke and Parkinson's Disease
If you or a loved one is suffering from any of these conditions—or any other type of chronic pain—chances are very good that you can be help by physical therapy.
Types Of Physical Therapy Exercises
Physical therapy exercises tend to fall into one of four categories:
- Endurance exercises.These physical therapy exercises are designed to strengthen your muscles and improve your endurance, by engaging the large muscles groups of the chest, back, arms and/or legs. By repeating specific movements, over time, your endurance improves.
- Strengthening exercises.These physical therapy movements improve muscle power and strength, by gradually increasing weight or resistance. Such exercises are designed to restore strength and power if a surgery, accident, or chronic pain condition has left you in a weakened condition.
- Flexibility exercises.When an injury or surgery has resulted in partial loss of mobility in your arms, legs, or spine, these exercises—e.g. gentle stretches—gradually improve your flexibility and range of motion.
- Balance and coordination exercises.This category of physical therapy techniques helps you build core strength, maintain your center of gravity, improve your balance, and enhance coordination. Many of these practices involve restoring optimal posture and improving mind-body communication.
The Bottom Line
Physical therapy has proven to be extremely effective in recovery from surgery and pain management. It's a powerful therapeutic modality, that can help restore physical function of joints and muscle groups.
Physical therapy exercises reeducate the entire body and support healthy postural and movement habits, which make it possible to return to our daily activities, and engage in our favorite pastimes, with comfort and ease.
Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact us. The expert caretakers and therapists at Church Home LifeSpring are available for all of your rehabilitation needs. We look forward to supporting you on your path of recovery.