Physical therapy is often viewed as a technique to help improve function after an injury or surgery, but there’s another aspect of your health that it can really help with, and that’s pain control. Whether pain exists after an acute injury or as a result of a chronic condition, it can really cause problems and affect your quality of life. But PT can help you regain control over your pain and reduce or eliminate it from your life. We explain how in today’s blog.
How PT Helps Control And Eliminate Pain
Physical therapy can act as a natural pain reliever in a number of different ways. For starters, there is a proven scientific link between muscle strength and pain. As this study showcases, more muscle strength in the knee region was associated with reduced pain in patients with osteoarthritis. By improving muscle strength, stress can be better managed by supportive structures, which means painful areas don’t need to handle as much pressure, in turn reducing pain.
There’s also the idea that physical therapy helps with a person’s perception of pain. This study found that exercise, similar to the types of exercise that would be performed with a PT routine, led to a higher pain threshold in participants. Exercise helps our brain release endorphins and improves the mind-body relationship, which has been touted as increasing a person’s pain threshold. If it’s not directly reducing your pain, PT can at least help to improve your ability to tolerate discomfort.
Another way that physical therapy can help with your fight against pain is that it can help wean you off of opioids. Painkillers can help you manage pain, but they aren’t a perfect option. They can lead to dependence, abuse and overdose, and more recently, we’ve uncovered that prolonged opioid abuse can actually have negative effects on our body’s ability to manage pain naturally. Our body begins to rely on these opioids for handling pain instead of using its own defenses, making it harder for you to manage pain on your own, and it becomes a difficult cycle to break out of by yourself. There’s also the findings from this study, which suggests that extended opioid use can increase our sensitivity to pain.
And finally, physical therapy can be an effective way to manage pain because of the relationship you develop with your physical therapist. They can provide you with guidance and education on your pain condition, and being informed allows you to make the best choices for managing pain. We can also adjust your therapy routine as necessary to ensure your progress doesn’t plateau so you can reach maximum improvement.
Minnesota Physical Therapy Clinics
So if you’ve been bothered by pain and are wondering how you can get back in control, consider setting up an appointment with the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today. We can diagnose your pain and help establish a care routine that targets your specific area of need. Don’t live with daily pain when solutions are only one call away. Pick up the phone and call us at (612) 339-2041 for our Minneapolis location, or (952) 922-0330 for our Edina office.