WebMD states, “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 mission of any physical therapist is to relieve pain while also increasing function and mobility.
Physical therapy can be used for any physical goal you may have, whether it’s recovering from an injury, returning to work or a sport, or simply improving your body’s strength and function. Physical therapy can help live a pain-free life, with the ability to comfortably perform all the activities you love. Contact ProTouch Physical Therapy today to see how our services can benefit you and help you reach your goals!
Evidence supporting the success of physical therapy:
The American Physical Therapy Association states, “Studies have established the efficacy of physical therapy in treating and reducing pain, as well as preventing chronic pain.” Some statistics supported in these studies include:
- Success for pre- and post-surgical rehab. 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 postoperative care, and improvements in function.
- Success for arthritis. Studies have shown that therapeutic exercise programs can reduce pain and improve physical function among individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis.
- Success for 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.
How does physical therapy treat pain?
During a physical therapy session, you may engage in pain-relief exercises and stretches, strengthening exercises, or low-impact aerobic training. Pain relief exercises are designed to target the areas where you have pain and ease your symptoms, while stretching exercises help your muscles loosen up and relax. Low-impact exercises are easy on the joints and they help to increase your heart rate. You might be asked to use a stationary bike or to walk fast on a course around the building. 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, as well.
Physical therapists also frequently use other modalities, in order to achieve pain relief and increased function for the patient. Some common examples of PT modalities include:
- Massage therapy. Massage therapy may also be performed, which is a gentle therapy that helps in reducing muscle spasms and allowing your body to relax.
- Soft tissue mobilization. Soft-tissue mobilization is also common, which is used to increase mobility by addressing fibrous areas of muscle tissue.
- Direct manipulation. Direct manipulation of the joints can be done to improve functioning and maintain proper alignment.
- Ice and heat therapies. Ice and heat packs may be applied to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Ultrasound. Ultrasound therapy sends sound waves to the affected area and blocks pain messages that are sent to the brain.
- Electric stimulation. Electric stimulation therapy sends an electric current to the affected area, in order to reduce pain.
A physical therapist may also 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.
Get started today:
Physical therapy is a natural, safe, and non-invasive way to treat pain and strengthen the body. In many cases, it has even eliminated the need for harmful pain-management drugs or lengthy surgical procedures. At your initial appointment, your physical therapist will perform a comprehensive physical evaluation, in order to determine where your pain is originating and discuss the best treatment plan for your needs. From there, your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan specifically for you.
If you’ve been suffering from pain or a lack of function that’s limiting your life, don’t hesitate to contact our Cranford, NJ office today. We’ll help you get started on the right track toward living your life to the fullest!