3 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Combat Long Term Pain
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1 in 5 people have chronic pain. In fact, approximately 80 percent of Americans have experienced (or will experience) chronic back pain.
As you can see, chronic pain is incredibly widespread, with over 100 million patients in the United States alone, so you are not alone if you are suffering from it.
Standard pain drugs have so many drawbacks that you can’t rely on them to adequately relieve your pain, leaving you to wonder whether you’re doomed to live with it.
Fortunately, there is another option to consider. Physical therapy has been demonstrated to help people with chronic pain reduce or perhaps eliminate it.
With the right treatment plan at Performance Physical Therapy you may be able to greatly reduce your discomfort!
Request an appointment at our physical therapy clinic today, and let us help you combat your back pain once and for all!
What is chronic back pain?
Back discomfort that lasts longer than three months is referred to as chronic back pain. It’s a steadily worsening pain that becomes worse with time and fundamental daily activities.
In addition, the exact reason for back discomfort may be unknown. It’s possible that no one knows what produced it or where it came from.
However, most people can recover from back pain by understanding its causes, especially those that do not derive from an incident, such as a car accident.
Where does back pain stem from?
Chronic back pain may arise from two issues, including a sudden, traumatic injury or repetitive stress on the vertebrae.
Age, weight, bad lifting techniques, and even mental health difficulties can all raise the risk of back discomfort, and it only takes one injury for a condition to progress into the realm of long-term issues.
Pain includes sensations, such as a prick, burn, tingle, sting, sharp pain, and aches. Acute pain is typically an expected bodily response to a severe injury.
However, the repeated use of joints after an inflammatory response may lead to the worsening of symptoms and disease progression, explains the NINDS.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people with particularly poor posture, bulging or ruptured discs, arthritis, skeletal abnormalities, and osteoporosis are more likely to experience chronic back pain than their peers.
How can physical therapy help me?
Physical therapy can improve your life in several ways! If you are struggling to do things you once loved doing without experiencing debilitating pain, it’s a good idea to contact Performance Physical Therapy to see how we can help you.
1. Increasing your physical strength
Depending on your condition, your physical therapist may teach you some exercises designed to strengthen your muscles and soft tissues.
It may seem strange that getting stronger is recommended by medical science when you are in pain – since exercising may be painful in and of itself, especially at first. But there are good reasons to try and make you stronger.
Often, the cause of chronic pain is pressure on nerves in your joints, whether your spine, knees, hips, elbows, or some other joint.
When you make the muscles around those joints stronger, they are better at providing support – which can take some of the pressure off of your nerves.
2. Electrical therapy and cold/hot therapies
Physical therapists have a variety of tools at their disposal to treat your immediate pain as well.
They can use things like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and hot and cold therapies to help reduce inflammation and ease some of the pain you are feeling.
These therapies can also help improve your body’s ability to heal.
3. Teaching you how to move safely
Most people are not fully aware of how they move in their day-to-day activities. You could be bending over, lifting, walking, running, sitting, or moving in some other manner that is contributing to your chronic pain.
Learning how to improve the issues with your movements can significantly decrease the pain you experience.
Your first session with your physical therapist will include an exam where they watch the way you perform different activities – like walking – to identify any possible problems.
Once they know where things are going wrong, they can teach you how to improve so that you do not unknowingly increase your chronic pain.
4. Improving your flexibility
Improving your flexibility can also help reduce your pain. When you are suffering from an injury, it is common for your body to compensate in some way to avoid the pain – which can lead to unhealthy movement patterns that you may not even be aware of.
The way your body compensates may help right after the injury, but over time it will lead to wear and tear on other parts of your body. If you feel really tight or locked up in one way or another, you are probably experiencing this type of situation.
Physical therapy can gently relax your body so that you can return to moving in a healthy manner.
Your physical therapist will work with you to ease the tension so that your body can move correctly and increase the strength of the muscles surrounding the joint so that you can maintain the correct movement patterns.
Ready to find relief for your chronic pain?
If you are struggling with chronic pain, we want you to know that we are here to help. Our physical therapy team can design an individualized treatment program to help alleviate your pain and improve your life. Call our clinic today (302-599-0029) to schedule an appointment, and let us help you return to living your best life possible!