Are you in constant or recurring pain that won’t let you enjoy your everyday life? Do you suffer from the effects of an old injury, a degenerative condition, or some other situation that calls for ongoing pain management? If so, then your first instinct might be to reach for medication — but hold that thought, because drugs can pose their own threats to your health. Physical therapy can provide safer, more satisfying pain relief, which is why you should contact our physical therapist to explore this form of care.
What Is Pain?
Pain is your body’s natural warning system — which makes it a very important and useful asset under the right circumstances. These nerve signals alert you to a problem that requires attention, from an infected area or traumatic injury to joint or overuse of a particular muscle group. This is especially true of acute pain. Sensations of pain and stiffness discourage you from using an injured body part while it’s healing; once the condition resolves, the pain goes away.
But sometimes pain out lives its usefulness, lingering on for months or even years after your body has done all it can to address the underlying problem. This is chronic pain, and it afflicts some 116 million people in the U.S. alone. The pain may plague you constantly, or it may come and go in bouts that last for weeks at a time.
Common Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can develop for a variety of reasons. The most common causes and types of chronic pain include:
- Post-injury/surgery pain – Internal scar tissue formation can interfere painfully with normal muscle and connective tissue motion.
- Neuropathy – Nerve damage, disease, or impingement can cause pain as well as numbness, tingling, and other unpleasant symptoms.
- Joint disorders – Arthritis and other degenerative conditions can cause chronic pain.
- Chronic strain – Overuse can damage your tissues faster than they can repair themselves, causing chronic strain and inflammation.
- Muscle knots and spasms – Chronic tension due to a physical imbalance or systemic disorder can leave you with painful muscle knots known as trigger points.
- Stress – Chronic emotional stress can lead to unremitting physical tension and pain.
How Physical Therapy Eases Pain
Drugs promise quick (if only temporary) relief from many kinds of pain. Unfortunately, they can harm as well as help. The most glaring example is the addictive potential of opioid drugs. Opioid dependence and abuse has become a national nightmare in recent years, especially since overdosing on these drugs can cause death. Even over-the-counter pain relievers can pose dangers. Aspirin can promote internal bleeding, while other popular drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can cause severe organ damage.
Physical therapy can provide the pain relief you’re looking for without forcing you to risk drug dependence or side effects. One of the great advantages of physical therapy is its ability to address, not just your pain, but the underlying cause of the pain. Our physical therapist can perform a careful evaluation to understand your current condition in detail. We can then provide a mix of therapeutic techniques such as:
- Physical therapy exercises to loosen tight muscles, strengthen weakened areas, and increase your range of motion
- Manual therapies such as massage to release internal scar tissue or painful muscle knots
- Postural corrections and exercises to reduce nerve impingement problems and symptoms
- Stress management recommendations to help you avoid unnecessary physical tension
Are you ready for a pain management solution that doesn’t come from a pill bottle? Contact our physical therapist today!