A lot of illnesses, accidents and injuries have a common side effect – pain. One of the best ways to alleviate or manage pain is physical therapy. Though a conservative method, it can prevent any future problems or lessen the impact of it. Therefore, you should always choose physical therapy to relieve pain when possible.
When Can Physical Therapy Be Used For Pain Management?
In the following cases of chronic pain, physical therapy is a good alleviator:
- Back pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Knee and leg pain
- Paediatric conditions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Physical therapy is also of great help after an accident or injury. Some situations where it can relieve or lessen pain are injuries that happen during sports, any tear in ligaments and tendons, any strains or sprains and pain due to fracture. Very often, physical therapy is recommended or prescribed after major surgery.
How Does Physical Therapy Work In Managing Pain?
First, a physiotherapist works in tandem with your consulting physicians to understand the ailments. Then they find the most appropriate treatment for the patient. The precise treatment regime varies from person to person. But it includes:
- Medicines that help reduce the severity of pain in the person
- Medications to reduce any inflammation the patient has
- Resting the area afflicted with pain for a few days
Besides this, heat therapy and cold therapy are also done along with manual manipulation of the region in pain. Electrical stimulation and massage therapy are also utilised to diminish pain.
Once there is some relief, the next step is stretching. The physiotherapists will help you perform simple exercises that relax any stiff joints and muscles. After gauging your progress with stretching exercises, the physiotherapist may then advance to strengthening exercises.
The very last step in physical therapy to manage pain is low impact aerobic exercises. Swimming and walking may be advised by the physiotherapists after evaluating the pain level and physical ability of the individual.
What Is Your Role In Physical Therapy?
For physical therapy to take effect and lessen pain, it requires active participation from the patient. The onus of reducing the ache is not just on the physiotherapist. You have to do your part too, only then does physical therapy have any impact. Some steps you can take for the therapy to work faster and better are:
- Any exercises that are prescribed should be performed regularly.
- All appointments with physiotherapists should be kept.
- All the advice the therapist gives should be followed accurately.
- A follow up with your primary physician is necessary to evaluate progress and make any modification in the treatment.
In recent years, physical therapy has advanced a lot. Today, it is a science in itself. For chronic pains and aches, physical therapy can offer excellent pain relief or management.