Chronic pain affects more than 100 million people in the US each year, and it is one of the most widespread health conditions in the world. It’s also one of the trickiest conditions to treat, because there’s not always a clear indication why pain is present in the first place. That’s why it’s so important to connect with a medical specialist to determine what’s going on and how to best treat it. Oftentimes a physical therapist can help you do all of that. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at how physical therapy can help you control or cure your chronic pain condition.
How PTs Treat Chronic Pain
Treating chronic pain is unique to the individual because no two cases are the same. This is what makes treating chronic pain a challenge, but it’s also why it’s so rewarding to help a patient find a solution. Here’s how we go about it.
- It Starts With A Physical Examination – To give you the best care, we have to figure out what’s causing your chronic pain symptoms. Before you head to your physician’s office, consider coming into our clinic. We can perform a physical assessment and come up with an idea of what might be causing your pain. Or if you’ve been treated by a physician in the past, have them forward your imaging results to our clinic. Imaging tests coupled with an in-person examination are great ways to pinpoint a diagnosis.
- Patient Goals and Needs – Next, we’ll have a conversation about your goals and your daily activities. If pain is flaring up while you’re at work or during specific activities, we’ll want to know, because we’ll craft a therapy plan to help account for your daily routine. We also want to find out what your goals are. Obviously you want to be pain free, but talking about goals and how we’ll help you achieve them helps to start you off on the right foot.
- Developing A Program – Next, we’ll work with you to develop a physical therapy program. Odds are we’ll have you perform a few exercises and movement screens to see which actions you can perform and which ones are limited because of your pain. This also allows us to see what muscles and joints we’ll want to target to help take stress off a certain area of your body. We’ll take it slow and guide you through the exercises so you understand why you’re doing them and how to do them correctly.
- Repetition – Rarely does chronic pain disappear with just one session, so now the process becomes about repetition. Whether that’s in the form of regular sessions with a member of our team or through a home-based exercise routine, we’ll help find something that works for you. However, it will be on you to make sure you follow through with the program. If you don’t, odds are your chronic pain won’t improve.
- Adjustments – Finally, we may need to adjust or tweak your program as you improve. We’ll want to keep tabs on your progress and present you with new physical challenges so you can make the fullest recovery possible. If you feel like your recovery has plateaued and you need to have your routine adjusted at any point, bring this up to your physical therapist.
So whether your chronic pain issue is being caused by nerve damage, a blood flow issue or bone spurs, consider syncing up with a physical therapist who can help you find relief. We’ll be with you every step of the way, from diagnosis until the end. For more information, or to see if we can help you find relief from chronic pain, reach out to the experienced staff at OrthoRehab Specialists today.