How Physical Therapy Can Ease Chronic Pain
Physical therapy is standardly used for patients suffering from chronic pain. Let’s look at what a physical therapist does and what to expect from treatments.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is often used as a way to rehabilitate chronic pain conditions.
Also sometimes called physiotherapy, it is a form of medicine that incorporates diverse treatments to recover from conditions that are negatively impacting the body. A physical therapy patient could be suffering from a broad spectrum of injuries or illnesses – anything that limits healthy movement. The basic goal is to improve the body through standardized methods, resulting in better biomechanical function, lower pain ratings, and optimized quality of life.
What is the physical therapist’s role?
Before you see a physical therapist, a doctor will determine that you have chronic pain. The physical therapist continues the investigation into the specifics of your pain condition.
These treatments are incredibly important, in part because chronic pain is so common. According to an estimate from the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, 100 million Americans are currently experiencing a long-term pain condition of some form.
The primary reason that chronic pain occurs is because of structural misalignments, notes physical therapist David Reavy. “The way most of us move—or don’t move—through the world, with excessive sitting and poor posture, causes muscles in [the] body to become too restricted and shut down,” he says.
Correcting imbalances, then, is a major focus of physical therapists. By improving range of motion in your muscles and coaching you through exercises to make them stronger, a physical therapist helps you to move more fluidly and without restriction, leading to lasting pain alleviation.
How do treatments work?
The first physical therapy appointment is an initial evaluation. Essentially, the therapist discusses your condition with you. They run through a series of standard questions and physically examine the area where you are having problems. With this information, they are able to craft a recovery plan. The number of visits needed by a patient varies substantially based on diagnosis and the way your body responds to the therapies.
Along with the treatments you receive directly at the clinic, patients also usually are assigned a home exercise program (HEP), explains Reavy. “Completing a HEP is crucial to a timely recovery,” he says, “and, in many cases, should be continued even after you are done with treatment.”
Caring physical therapy
Are you suffering from chronic pain? At Health Star Clinic, you will find our staff caring and our clinic a positive healing atmosphere. Learn more about our physical therapy services.