Physical Therapy: The Logical Choice for Long-Term Pain Relief
Chronic pain presents some very real challenges for sufferers. If you have a chronic condition that produces constant or recurring pain, you may already know that you need a long-term solution as opposed to a quick fix. Unfortunately, some of the medical solutions offered by medical science can create lingering problems and dangers when used for long-term pain management. For instance, the NIH points to opioid prescriptions as the cause of a “silent epidemic” of dependence and disability. Here are some reasons to choose physical therapy as the logical alternative for long-term pain relief.
A Drug-Free Way to Control Inflammatory Pain
The same inflammatory substances that help the body cope with infection or injury can also cause chronic pain. Many physical therapy techniques do an excellent job of reducing inflammation and the chronic pain that accompanies it. Exercises and massage therapy can get your circulation going so you can expel those inflammatory substances. Our physical therapist can also recommend dietary changes that emphasize anti-inflammatory foods.
Maintaining Joint Health for Pain-Free Mobility
It’s a simple fact that healthier joints hurt less. Chronic problems such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause ever-increasing damage to the joints, leading to progressive pain and disability. Physical therapy can help you minimize this damage and optimize your pain-free range of motion. Walking, swimming, and other forms of exercise keep the joints limber and lubricated, while strengthening exercises can add welcome additional support from muscles and connective tissues.
Stronger Muscles for Less Soft Tissue Strain
The same strengthening exercises that take stress off of your joints could also result in less soft tissue strain. If you suffer from chronic neck or back pain, you may benefit from exercises that build up the major muscle groups in these areas. Exercise to strengthen your core muscles can also stabilize your balance and help you maintain a straight, healthy posture. As a result, your muscles are less vulnerable to the aches and pains caused by structural imbalances.
A Straighter Posture Helps Prevent Pinched Nerves
Do you suffer from neuropathy — pain or other odd symptoms that plague your arms, hands, legs or feet? These symptoms are commonly caused by pinched nerves in the upper or lower spinal column. An unbalanced posture or spinal misalignment can produce (or aggravate) this impingement. Ongoing physical therapy exercises, chiropractic adjustments, and lifestyle changes that promote proper ergonomics can help you stand, sit and move correctly, taking the pinch off of your nerve tissue in the process to ease your symptoms.
A “Rewired” Brain Can Perceive Pain Differently
Pain signals are generated by the brain, so it follows that long-term pain management might include techniques to “rewire” the brain’s activities in this area. Breathing exercises, body awareness, and other mindfulness training methods can help you change your relationship with, and perception of, your chronic pain for the better. This approach can prove especially valuable for chronic pain that is idiopathic in nature (stemming from no known or treatable physical cause).
Ready to Plan Your Long-Term Physical Comfort? Get Started With Our Physical Therapist
As the ancient saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Take that all-important first step on your journey toward a lifetime of better health and freedom from pain. Contact HealthWest Physical Therapy today and schedule a consultation with our physical therapist!