Why You Need a Physical Therapist for Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain is among the most common reasons why many Americans seek medical care. It is estimated that 50 million Americans deal with chronic pain every year. The leading causes of chronic pain include injury or trauma and certain medical conditions, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, diabetes mellitus, limb amputation, and fibromyalgia. Sometimes some conditions occur without any injury or illness. If chronic pain affects your quality of life, a physical therapist can help you manage it without using potentially addictive medications or invasive surgery.
Why Do You Need Urgent Treatment?
Chronic pain may affect almost every aspect of your life. Sometimes, you focus too much on alleviating physical aches that you neglect your job and routine activities. If chronic pain is not managed, it leads to the following problems:
Depression- Pain brings about persistent feelings of sadness and low self-worth.
Insomnia- Often, pain makes sleeping difficult.
Anxiety- You are always worried about the pain.
Fatigue- The body is constantly fighting the ailment causing pain.
Feelings of Guilt- You can't participate in certain activities, such as work and social functions.
Why Should You Try a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapy is considered one of the most effective remedies for long-term pain. Unlike other medical professionals, physical therapists are experts in treating not only pain but also its source.
A physical therapist will help you in the following ways:
Education- If you have chronic pain, what you need most is pain management strategies. So a physical therapist educates you about various things, such as how pain occurs and how to manage it.
Flexibility Exercises- In most cases, long-term pain significantly affects mobility. A physical therapist will design a program of graded exercises to help you improve coordination and movement. The flexibility exercises reduce strain and stress on your body, meaningfully decreasing pain.
Massage- Physical therapists also employ massage to manage pain. Typically, massages relieve pain in three main ways:
Improving muscular blood flow
Relieving muscle tightness
Increasing mobility around joints through soft-tissue mobilization
Electrical Nerve Stimulation- Low-voltage electrical currents can also be used to stimulate the painful or injured area to relieve pain. It is believed that electrical stimulation intercepts pain signals, lessening the experience of pain.
Hot and Cold Therapies- Applying heat or cold to the painful area can substantially relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Physical therapists also use hot or cold packs to relax the muscles and increase circulation.
Chronic pain interferes with your day-to-day work and affects your ability to relax, concentrate, and enjoy life. If other treatments aren't helping, you should try physical therapy. Unlike other remedies you may have tried, a physical therapist treats and manages pain using non-invasive interventions. For more information, contact a physical therapist, such as Dr. Carr Integrative Physical Therapy, near you to learn more.