Physical therapy is one of the best long-term treatment options for chronic pain management because it does not mask the symptoms. Instead, it is intended to focus on the source of the pain and eliminate it there. It also strengthens muscles that have become weak due to inactivity that may have begun as a result of the pain. Due to the activity required when taking part in physical therapy, overall fitness can be improved in addition to living a life that is no longer dominated by pain.
Conditions that are normally accompanied by pain that can be helped by physical therapy include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and pain due to nerve damage. In many cases, chronic headaches can be relieved with physical therapy as well.
Physical therapy helps by strengthening the muscles and increasing flexibility and endurance. It can also improve joint stability. Our therapists are trained to check for areas that may be contributing to weakness, soreness and pain. They will then develop a personalized therapy plan in order to see improvements in the target areas. There may be a variety of methods that will be employed to achieve maximum benefits.
If strengthening exercises are used, they will likely follow some form of aerobic training. That way, the therapist can be sure the individual is warmed up enough to avoid complications that can happen by doing them without warming up first.
These exercises may be done on machines that are designed to provide resistance. In some cases, resistance bands can be effective. There may even be exercises included that use the body’s own weight as resistance. The therapist may also show the patient which of these exercises to do at home as well as provide guidance on the proper way to do them.
Ice packs may be used because the cooling effect helps to control inflammation. Heat helps to promote healing and helps the muscles to move easier. Both can help in pain management.
Ultrasound may be used because the sound waves that are transmitted to the target areas have a pain-relieving effect. At other times, electrical nerve stimulation may be used to send a low-voltage current across the area of pain.
Massage therapy can be very effective for pain management. When used on areas that are already sore, it may not feel pleasant. However, our therapist is trained to do it in a way that is helpful and causes no harm.
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Overall, physical therapy is a pain control method that is widely available as an alternative to narcotics or more invasive measures. Visit Innovative Spine in San Antonio to learn more about how physical therapy can help you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.