Are You One of the Many People in the United States Slowed Down by Joint Pain?
Do you experience constant joint pain or discomfort? Does your pain make your daily routine feel less and less doable every day? If so, you stand to benefit from physical therapy.
Unfortunately, chronic joint pain affects millions of people in the United States each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in four adults with arthritis, or 15 million people, report experiencing severe joint pain.
At Synergy Manual Physical Therapy, we understand how difficult and frustrating it can be to deal with pain of this caliber. If you’re searching for a way to relieve your pain effectively and naturally, you need to know about the health benefits of physical therapy.
Contact our office today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our movement experts.
Why should I choose physical therapy over surgery or prescription medication?
Physical therapists are medical professionals who have completed extensive training to accurately examine, diagnose, and treat a huge variety of health issues. A physical therapist commonly treats conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, sports injuries, chronic joint pain, scoliosis, and so much more.
After an initial physical evaluation and a discussion about your medical history, your physical therapist can determine the underlying cause of a painful or injured joint. For example, you might learn that weak muscles or poor movement patterns are contributing to your pain.
From here, your therapist can create a customizable treatment plan that diminishes your painful symptoms and promotes healing throughout your entire body. The comprehensive treatment plan you will receive in physical therapy is different from the results you would receive from prescription medications. Opioids, for example, only mask the painful symptoms of a condition without treating the underlying issue.
Opioid use also comes with the risks of addiction, organ toxicity, withdrawal symptoms, and even the possibility of a fatal overdose. So why would you expose your body to this when you could achieve fast and long-lasting relief in physical therapy?
Physical therapy is effective and safe for a wide range of individuals. In fact, the CDC recommends physical therapy as the first line of treatment for most kinds of chronic pain.
5 health benefits you can expect from physical therapy
Seeing a physical therapist can help you avoid surgery and avoid the long-term use of expensive and potentially dangerous drugs. However, if you’ve never tried physical therapy before, you may not know what to expect. The following list illustrates 5 health benefits you can expect from physical therapy.
1. Relieve your painful symptoms with therapeutic exercise
Did you know that living a sedentary lifestyle places you at a greater risk of developing chronic pain conditions? A physical therapist can prescribe you exercises that are specifically geared toward reducing joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Depending on the source of your joint pain, you may focus on improving your strength, flexibility, or balance.
As you progress through this form of treatment, you’ll likely notice an increase in mobility and endurance, and find that it’s easier to fulfill the physical demands of your daily routine.
2. Learn how to better manage pain
Research shows that by changing the way you perceive pain; you can actually influence how you feel pain. This is why many physical therapists are trained in pain neuroscience education or PNE. PNE is an educational model that helps people learn about what pain is and how it develops in the body and provides patients with the tools to reduce their pain in just one educational session.
3. Combat your pain with relaxing massage therapy
Passive therapeutic techniques, such as massage therapy and joint mobilization, are often included in treatment programs to promote pain relief throughout the body.
Passive therapies can improve your range of motion, increase joint space and alignment, reduce pain, stimulate the circulation of blood and lymph fluids, reduce swelling, minimize inflammation, and ease physical and mental stress.
After your painful symptoms subside, it becomes easier to actively participate in exercise therapy, which helps gets you closer to a full recovery. Depending on the severity of your pain, your therapist may decide to substitute another treatment in place of massage therapy. Any of the following modalities may be included in your treatment plan:
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Dry needle therapy
- Heat or ice therapy
4. Develop better body mechanics
A physical therapist is a great resource to help you problem-solve your mobility limitations and learn how to move more safely and efficiently.
Your therapist may recommend adaptive equipment such as canes or walkers, and environmental modifications like grab bars that reduce the amount of strain and stress on your joints. They can also teach you specific ways to move your body during various activities (e.g., getting in and out of bed, going up and down the stairs, walking, playing a sport, etc.) to improve your body mechanics and minimize pain.
5. Gain access to a collaborative medical team
Physical therapists regularly consult and communicate with physicians, orthopedic surgeons, prosthetists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietitians, athletic trainers, pathologists, physiatrists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and other health professionals.
This type of multi-disciplinary collaboration ensures that your pain management plan is long-lasting and right for your specific needs. Your medical team will also be able to help you make decisions about when to return to work or sport, and how you should be managing your at-home care.
Contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today to get started!
Your joint pain can be a thing of the past with physical therapy. If you’re beyond ready to start leading a life uninhibited by aches and pains, contact our office today to set up your own consultation with one of our licensed physical therapists.