When it comes to living with chronic pain, you may think that you’re alone. The mental fatigue of having to deal with it can take a toll on your mind and body and can lead you to believe no one can understand.
But millions of individuals live with chronic pain everyday. Whether prescription or over-the-counter, many have turned to pain medication to relieve this stress and cope with everything from back and joint pain to debilitating pain from accidents.
However, there are several negatives to relying on medication to relieve pain that will cause more harm than good in the long run.
Pain pills can often interact with other medications, they can be addictive, and ultimately working well in the short-run, only masking symptoms instead of actually treating them. Physical therapy is a good alternative to the long-term use of pain medication.
Here Is Why Should You Choose Physical Therapy
There are a wide variety of reasons to choose physical therapy as a great alternative to relying on pain meds.
One of the main reasons to choose physical therapy is that the purpose of it is to treat the actual root causes of your pain and not just the symptoms. While pain medication may give you instant relief, it won’t last. You remain in an endless and dangerous cycle of taking more and more medication with no real end or plan for treatment insight.
Cost should also be a major variable in your decision for treatment. Years of prescription medication, even at what some would call a “good price,” will likely add up to more than the cost of the number of physical therapy sessions you’ll need.
What Are The Benefits Of Physical Therapy for Individuals Living with Pain?
For a person living with constant or debilitating pain, the thought of doing exercises, or almost any type of physical activity for that matter, may sound more unpleasant than relieving. But the right kind of exercise paired with the right physical therapist can be extremely powerful.
Instead of temporarily masking it with expensive and risky prescription pain medication, physical therapy works to target the area of your pain and treat the condition. A physical therapy routine can improve your overall strength and endurance. It can also improve joint stability and increase joint and muscle flexibility.
A common misconception is that physical therapists only assist and treat patients with pain stemming from an injury, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to Therapeutic Outlook Magazine, 20% of the population experiences some form of chronic pain, which is defined as pain that continues after tissues have had time to heal. Therapists are trained in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating all forms of alignments and pains stemming from many sources of pain and will help you no matter what kind of pain you have or how it comes to affect you.
According to PT in Motion, physical therapy can even help rewire the brain to reduce chronic pain. There are several conditions that physical therapy can help.
Osteoarthritis Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Neuropathic Pain Caused by Injuries
Looking For Treatment Options? Look No Further!
A trained physical therapist can use a wide array of treatment methods to reduce, alleviate, or completely eliminate your pain.
Manual therapy, also known as bodywork, is one of the most commonly used and effective types of treatment available. Manual therapies have been known to include massage and joint manipulation. There are several other specific techniques that a physical therapist may use to help alleviate pain, but a few include:
Graded Motor Imagery – This uses the brain’s neural connections to eliminate pain. The therapy includes visualizing movement and training the brain to overcome different types of pain.
Ultrasound – Ultrasound works by utilizing sound waves that generate heat. This system ultimately promotes an increase in blood flow. Increased blood flow can promote healing in the affected areas of the body.
Cold Laser Therapy – This method utilizes cold lasers to overwhelm injured tissues with photons. This can stimulate the healing process in cells that are damaged. When the healing process begins, this naturally reduces the level of pain.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation – This is also called TENS, and it involves low voltage currents that stimulate a painful area of the body. The electricity reaches the body through electrodes attached to various areas on the skin. This can increase endorphins, which naturally reduce pain.
Again, using pain medication for a short period of time can be effective. But physical therapy is a much more, efficient, cheap, and safe option for long-term pain relief.
Contact an experienced physical therapist can create a customized therapy plan and do a complete assessment of your current condition to find the solution for your body that’s perfect for you. Make the decision to start living a life that doesn’t involve constant pain with the help of physical therapy!