Get rid of the pain by partnering up with a physical therapist. Give RX Rehab Physical Therapy a call today to learn more about how our physical therapists can get you on the path to a pain-free life.
Physical Therapy for Pain Relief
According to WebMD, “Physical therapy is often one of the best choices you can make when you have long-term pain (also called chronic pain) or an injury. It can make you stronger and help you move and feel better.” The goal of physical therapy is to reduce and eliminate pain while improving mobility and function.
During a physical therapy session, you may engage in low-impact aerobic training, strengthening exercises, pain-relief exercises and stretching. Low-impact exercises go easy on the joints and pump up your heart rate. You might be asked to use a stationary bike or to walk fast. You’ll likely be given exercises to work on your core muscles. Using your own body weight with pushups and lunges may be part of the treatment plan. Pain relief exercises designed to target the areas where you have pain will also be done. And with stretching exercises, you’ll be relaxing those muscles.
Physical therapists also use other modalities to achieve pain relief for the patient. Heat packs or ice packs may be applied to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation. Massage therapy is a gentle therapy that helps reduce muscle spasms and helps your body to relax. Soft-tissue mobilization is used to increase mobility by addressing fibrous areas of muscle tissue. Direct manipulation of the joints can be done to improve functioning and maintain proper alignment. Electric stimulation therapy sends an electric current to the affected area to reduce pain. Ultrasound therapy sends sound waves to the affected area and blocks pain messages that are sent to the brain.
In addition, a physical therapist can educate you about sensory re-education for chronic pain. Even after an injury has healed, the nervous system may still send pain signals. Sensory re-education helps desensitize the nervous system and decrease sensitivity to the affected area.
All around, physical therapy is a noninvasive and holistic approach to pain management. You can avoid having to go under the knife or getting addicted to those pain meds with physical therapy. A physical therapist will do a comprehensive evaluation to determine the root cause of your pain and develop an individualized treatment plan that targets the root cause.
Some Stats on the Efficacy of Physical Therapy for Pain
According to the APTA, “Studies have established the efficacy of physical therapy in treating and reducing pain as well as preventing chronic pain.
- Low back pain: A review of more than 60 randomized controlled trials evaluating exercise therapy for adults with low back pain found that such treatment can decrease pain, improve function and help people return to work. The American College of Physicians states that “non-pharmacologic interventions are considered first-line options in patients with chronic low back pain because fewer harms are associated with these types of therapies than with pharmacologic options.”
- Before and after surgery: A review of 35 randomized controlled studies with a total of nearly 3,000 patients found that in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty, preoperative exercise and education led to significant reductions in pain, shorter lengths of stay postoperatively and improvements in function.
- Arthritis: Studies have shown that therapeutic exercise programs can reduce pain and improve physical function among individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis.
Are you in pain? Be sure to contact our office and discover how our physical therapists can help.
Do you deal with chronic pain or inflammation in your daily life? It isn’t uncommon, but it is avoidable. While exercise is a crucial part of your physical therapy regimen, proper nutrition can also play an important role. The foods you eat work to fuel your body, and eating the right ones can help you recover much quicker from painful or uncomfortable conditions. Exercising regularly, reducing your stress intake, and keeping a strict nutritional diet all work together to help limit and alleviate your pain and inflammation. For more information on how nutrition can help you, contact RX Rehab Physical Therapy to schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists.
Why we experience inflammation:
Your immune system can naturally respond to injury, ailment, or other harm through inflammation. If you have an infection, wound, tissue damage, or buildup of toxins in your body, the immune response is triggered to deal with it. Without inflammation, injuries wouldn’t be able to heal; however, if this process goes on for too long, chronic inflammation can occur. This can lead to serious health conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or even some cancers. If you experience persistent pain, it is wise to contact a physical therapist as soon as possible, as it may mean that the inflammation has become chronic.
Traditionally, chronic inflammation has been treated through strict rest and medication. However, a lack of exercise can actually make inflammation worse, as it constricts joints and causes muscles to stiffen. Additionally, medications come with a whole slew of side effects, some of which can be dangerous and/or habit-forming. Luckily, pain and inflammation can be treated in much easier and healthier ways – such as diet.
Beat inflammation with a nutritional diet!
Nutritionists have had patients report great success in turning around their symptoms by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation is your body’s way of trying to heal, which can be accelerated through a nutritional diet that complements the removal of toxins.
The three basic components to an anti-inflammatory diet are:
- Lots of veggies!
Raw broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage are the best options when sustaining an anti-inflammatory diet. They can be cooked if you prefer, but raw vegetables are generally better for speeding up the inflammation process. You’ll want to eat up to nine servings per day, and you can substitute fruits for a couple of those servings to break it up, if it becomes too much. Otherwise, the timeless saying “eat your veggies,” is key.
- Take it easy on grains and dairy.
In order to strengthen your body’s immune response, you’ll want to avoid simple carbs and sugars. Unfortunately, that means no donuts, no pastries, and no white breads. Dairy products should also be extremely limited, so very little cheese or milk with anything. Whole grains, such as barley, oats, brown rice, and wheat are best.
- Avoid red meat altogether.
It is best to avoid red meat while participating in an anti-inflammatory diet. If this proves difficult, red meat is okay in small doses; however, it should be an extremely rare treat in your diet. The proteins in red meat require extra work from your kidneys to process, so it will slow down the healing process if you eat a lot of it. One small piece of steak, one time per week, should be your maximum limit. Luckily, chicken and fish are just fine for an anti-inflammatory diet. Enjoy them with all of those servings of vegetables!
More helpful tips:
If you stick to the diet listed above, you should see your pain and inflammation symptoms start to reduce very quickly. In addition to a nutritional diet, you can also help fight inflammation through:
- Weight loss: If you have some unwanted weight, getting down to your ideal body weight will help with your pain and inflammation.
- Stress management: If you’re feeling mentally stressed, your body can become physically stressed – causing more inflammation and a longer recovery rate. Taking time to relax can actually allow you to heal quicker!
- Daily exercise: Exercise will keep the muscles warm, which can alleviate pain or stiffness, and stop the inflammation from becoming worse.
Contact RX Rehab Physical Therapy today if you’d like to speak with a physical therapist about pain management or additional advice on how to reduce inflammation!