How a Physical therapist can help treat chronic pain
Someone who has never had chronic pain can’t imagine all the subtle and surprising ways it affects one’s life. While we’ve all experienced pain at some point in our lives, it’s an entirely different thing when you must endure it day-to-day. According to the CDC, about 20.4% of adults were living with chronic pain in 2019. 7.4% of them had high impact chronic pain – persistent pain that limited life or work activities lasting for at least three months. Fortunately, there are an array of treatments available for chronic pain, ranging from medication, acupuncture, massage and more. Physical therapy is also an option; one of the best, in fact. But how exactly can physical therapy help treat chronic pain? Here is a brief guide on some of the most common treatments used by our physical therapist in Maplewood Mo, to reduce or eliminate chronic pain.
Ice and heat therapies
Heat and cold therapies are intended to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing. Usually, heat therapy involves applying hot packs to the affected area. This promotes blood flow and subsequently relaxes the muscles. Cold therapy, on the hand, slows down circulation to reduce muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and ultrasound
TENS typically involves sending low-voltage electric currents to the targeted area. The goal of this form of therapy is to decrease pain signals coming from your body to your brain. Rather than electric current, ultrasound utilizes sound waves to achieve the exact same results. Both forms of treatment can help reduce muscle spasms and pain altogether.
It’s not uncommon for patients with chronic pain to feel tight or locked up in some way or another, usually around the muscles and joints. In most cases, this is usually your body’s attempt at compensating to avoid the pain. Flexibility exercises allow you to gradually ease the tension around such areas so that you can improve your range of motion.
It may sound counterproductive for your PT to recommend strengthening exercises, yet you are in pain. However, strengthening exercises afford your brain positive feedback, training your brain to believe that the movement will not hurt anymore. A PT will tailor-make your exercising regimen based on your condition and skill level. You will need to start small. But the intensity of the exercises should grow as you progress.
Physical Therapy In Maplewood Mo
The bottom line is that physical therapy can help reduce and manage chronic pain, improve your mobility and flexibility, enhance your body’s strength, and improve overall health and fitness levels. With the gamut of physical therapy interventions today, patients who don’t respond to one treatment can always try another one. If you have been struggling with chronic pain, our physical therapist in Maplewood Mo, is here to help. We will help you determine the source of your pain and develop an individualized treatment to ensure your best chance of recovery. Please get in touch with us today and begin your journey free of pain.