Physical therapy treatment is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative for the management and relief of chronic pain. Injuries resulting from accidents or sports can have lasting results, especially in problem areas like the knee, hip, back, neck and shoulders. There are many benefits of physical therapy, which is why medical practitioners as well as patients prefer it to more conventional medical treatments.
Who needs physical therapy?
Physical therapy is increasingly being used to support recovery from sports injuries, accidents and surgery. Such injuries usually produce chronic pain in problem areas like the knees, hips, back and neck. Chronic injuries are difficult to treat. Conventional medical treatments like surgery and painkilling drugs are not wholly effective. Painkillers come with the added disadvantage of the risk of side effects like depression and opioid addiction.
Chronic pain originating in various causes affects a large section of the population. Annually, more than half the adult population develops musculoskeletal injuries that last longer than three months. There are more than 5 million sports related injuries each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. And as many as 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given moment. Osteoarthritis, which develops with age and is known as wear and tear arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. It affects the hips, knees, and hands. For all kinds of chronic pain conditions, physical therapy can be an effective treatment.
How physical therapy works
Physical therapy is non invasive and non surgical, and treats pain through through movement, hands-on care, exercise, and patient education. It involves the patient in the recovery process, which produces lasting results. Unlike painkillers, it doesn?t just mask the pain but treats its root causes. The main pillars of physical therapy are exercise, manual therapy, and education.
- Exercise provides a natural means of combating chronic pain. Physical therapists can recommend the right type of exercise for each condition, leading to lasting results.
- Manual therapy and a hands-on approach can be used to treat chronic pain of all kinds, from carpal tunnel syndrome to lower back pain. Strategies such as manipulation, joint and soft tissue mobilizations, and dry needling may be used.
- Education and teamwork can help patients understand their pain history and the treatments that will be used. Creating a partnership between the physical therapist and the patient makes the treatment more effective through constant communication.
Benefits of physical therapy
Physical therapy is non-surgical and non-invasive. Surgery can be expensive and time consuming, and it rarely solves the problem completely. For many conditions, therapy is as effective as surgery. Pain killer medications only mask the pain without treating its causes and origins. They carry the additional risk of opioid addiction, as well as side effects like depression.
Physical therapy bypasses all these disadvantages and helps to restore pain free movement. This can improve the quality of life for patients, as well as their ability to live independently and to resume work activities. Physical therapy is a collaborative process and the patient and therapist work together to set individual goals and challenges.
Chronic pain originating in various causes affects a large part of the population. Surgery and medication are both expensive and rarely fully effective. Painkilling medications additionally carry the risks of side effects and addiction. Problem areas like the knees, hips, back and neck can be treated by physical therapy with a combination of exercise, manual therapy and patient education.