Looking for pain relief? Physical Therapy Could be Your Solution
Pain can be a helpful messenger, an alert that something in your body needs fixing ‒ but it can also be an agonizing annoyance that ruins your quality of life. To make matters worse, many pain problems are rooted in deep-set underlying conditions, often originating in a different part of the body than the part exhibiting symptoms. Medication may mask your pain temporarily, but it isn’t going to solve a chronic underlying functional problem and give you lasting pain relief.
If you’ve been losing more and more of your mobility and productivity due to chronic pain, you may be disappointed by the usefulness of painkilling drugs or even alarmed by the potential dangers of such drugs.
Fortunately, you have a safer, more effective path toward pain management: physical therapy.
For a more meaningful pain solution, take advantage of the drug-free options we offer at our physical therapy center at Synergy Manual Physical Therapy.
Finding natural pain relief with physical therapy
Our physical therapists can succeed where painkilling drugs fail. Once we understand the actual origin point of your pain, we can prescribe a physical therapy regimen aimed at correcting (or at least reducing) that functional abnormality.
Our physical therapists may start by addressing your immediate discomfort with passive physical therapy techniques. These natural treatment techniques can include any combination of:
- Electrical muscle stimulation, which uses tiny amounts of current to stimulate your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins)
- Heat or cold applications to reduce swelling and inflammation
- Ultrasound therapy, in which sound waves enhance blood flow and relax tight muscle fibers
- Deep tissue massage to break an adhesions grip on your internal tissues
Once you’re responding to passive physical therapy, we can introduce active physical therapy. Our physical therapists can prescribe exercises that address both localized pain and referred pain problems.
For instance, gentle stretching exercises from our physical therapists can loosen tight, painful muscles and increase mobility in arthritic joints, while core training exercises that correct your balance may relieve chronic strain or neurological symptoms in the body.
How effective is physical therapy as a drug-free natural pain solution? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) states that non-pharmaceutical pain treatment is to be preferred over pharmaceuticals such as opioids ‒ and may actually do a better job of controlling pain conditions.
3 reasons why you should stray away from opioids and other harmful pain medications
Both opioid prescription rates and deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled in the last two decades. Given these identical statistics, one can’t escape the obvious conclusion: Reliance on painkillers has gotten out of hand, and the consequences can be literally fatal.
In a study published by the American Physical Therapy Association, titled “Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management and Improve Health,” this issue is exhaustively analyzed. It identifies three important waves of the opioid epidemic:
- Increases in deaths involving prescription opioids starting in 1999
- Increases in deaths involving heroin starting in 2010
- Increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids since 2013
Beyond extreme physical risk, over-reliance on prescription painkillers can have other detrimental effects on your health.
Withdrawal symptoms can be harrowing. And while you’re still using them, opioids can lead to depression, which sets up a vicious cycle of self-medicating in order to feel better emotionally as well as physically.
So, what’s causing my pain?
The cause of acute pain may be clear enough, especially if it accompanies an auto accident injury, work injury, infection, operation or other event.
As the affected part of your body heals, the pain generally fades away. But this is not necessarily the case with some forms of pain. Chronic pain may linger for months or years with no obvious cause in sight. This pain may be due to:
- Chronic overuse injuries such as tendinitis, plantar fasciitis or carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, which may affect both nerves and muscles
- Muscle weakness, knots or spasms related to poor posture or an unbalanced body
- Degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, which produce chronic pain and inflammation
- Extended disuse after a lengthy recovery period (such as frozen shoulder after many weeks with your arm in a sling)
- Areas of internal scar tissue buildup that restrict neighboring muscles and connective tissues (adhesions)
Modern medicine tends to turn to drugs early and often in an effort to alleviate pain problems. Unfortunately, this approach may turn out to be nothing more than a stopgap.
The drugs may mute the pain for a few hours, but the underlying problem that’s causing the pain remains untreated. As long as that problem persists, so will your long-term pain problems.
This may force you to use more and more medication ‒ a troubling proposition, especially for addictive personalities or individuals who are already on other medications.
Treat your pain at the source – contact us today
Our physical therapists are ready to help you stop your pain at its source, with no need for drugs. Call our physical therapy office today to schedule your appointment or visit us in Colorado Springs, CO!