Are you suffering from chronic pain?
Physical therapy has been shown to be more effective than pain medication in helping people improve their ability to perform their daily tasks.
How can Physical Therapy help my chronic pain? I have had this pain for a long time and moving really hurts.
To understand how physical therapy can help your pain, here is a quick explanation of chronic pain and how it affects your brain and body. Your body heals an injury in about 3 months. So once an individual has had pain for more than 3 months, the pain is considered “chronic”. With chronic pain, the brain changes its response to incoming pain signals and interprets many movements as painful. We call this sensitization.
With sensitization, an activity that would only somewhat hurt, or may not hurt at all is now significantly more painful. Because of these faulty brain signals, chronic pain sufferers become afraid to move, causing decreased strength and flexibility. As you may have guessed, this creates a vicious cycle that makes everyday activity difficult and frustrating.
So what do we do?
Breaking the Cycle
We have to break the cycle. First, you and your therapist will discuss your physical goals. You may want to be able to play with your children or grandchildren, cook, put on your shoes, walk, or grocery shop. Your therapist will want to know about any activity you would like to return to or start doing.
Next, a physical therapist will work with you on breaking down each goal to simple and easy activities and exercises that will ultimately allow you to return to a more active lifestyle with less discomfort and medication. Even a small increase in daily movement can help to desensitize the chronic pain brain, improve daytime energy levels and quality of sleep.
Isn’t physical therapy all about “no pain, no gain”?
No. Recent research shows that the “no pain, no gain” principle is often not the best way to treat chronic pain and individuals have the best success with a focus on physical tasks.
Physical therapy is meant to strengthen and improve function; it is not intended to increase your symptoms. While you may experience some soreness from working your muscles, this will be temporary and will help you reach your ultimate goal of improved function.
In summary, chronic pain is complicated
Chronic pain is not an easy thing to conquer. Treatment is most successful when you have a team of medical experts working with you to achieve your personal physical goals. The following specialists are located in our facility and we work closely with them to improve success rates
- Your Doctor of Physician
- Behavioral or Mental Health Providers
I am nervous about starting physical therapy, can I meet the therapist or see the facility before my appointment?
We offer walk-throughs to anyone who is considering coming to our facility for physical therapy. If it is too challenging to come to our tour, you can call and speak to your prospective physical therapist over the phone prior to your appointment.
How to start treatment
Talk to your doctor about a referral to physical therapy.
The Physical Therapy Specialty Center
Call 970-241-5856 to schedule an appointment.