According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 12 American adults lives with a chronic pain disorder that affects their daily life. If you’re one of those affected, physical therapy may be able to help. Here’s what you should know about physical therapy for chronic pain:
5 reasons physical therapy works for chronic pain
Chronic pain comes in many forms: headaches, back pain, joint pain, etc. In some cases, the pain isn’t even relegated to a single area of the body; you just feel sore all over. It stems from many different conditions, too, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, cancer and others. While each of these conditions has its own forms of treatment, physical therapy is a good complement to all of them. No matter the source of your chronic pain, PT helps by offering the following benefits:
- Strength training — A physical therapist will work with you to improve the strength and flexibility of your affected joints and muscles. Strengthening helps to prevent injuries and will ideally help you perform day-to-day tasks with less pain.
- Pain management — One strategy for managing chronic pain is to avoid the triggers that cause flare-ups. Physical therapy will train your brain to identify triggers so that you can better avoid them.
- Manual therapy — Physical therapists use this technique to manipulate joints and soft tissue, increasing their pliability so you have an easier time moving around.
- Education — Your physical therapist will help you understand the causes of chronic pain and why certain treatments work better than others. This can help you make more informed pain management decisions in your day-to-day life.
- Specialized treatments — Certain treatments are only effective for certain types of pain. Your physical therapist will assess your specific needs and prescribe a treatment accordingly.
Does physical therapy hurt?
Some chronic pain sufferers avoid physical therapy because they’re concerned it will hurt. While certain stretches or exercises may be uncomfortable at first, the ultimate goal is to reduce pain. If you’re in too much pain, your specialist will adjust the treatment method accordingly. Whatever you do, don’t avoid seeking physical therapy for chronic pain because you’re afraid it will hurt. Your PT will help you manage the pain you already experience.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch physical therapy for chronic pain
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address chronic pain. Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.