Chronic pain can significantly impact one’s quality of life, making even the simplest tasks challenging. Fortunately, physical therapy (PT) can be an effective treatment approach for managing chronic pain. However, many people have questions about PT for chronic pain. In this blog, our Benbrook doctors accepting new patients (together with our Bedford team) will address some of the common questions to provide clarity and understanding.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is a specialized form of rehabilitation that focuses on addressing physical impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities caused by injury, illness, or chronic conditions. It is carried out by trained and licensed physical therapists who use a variety of techniques, exercises, and modalities to improve mobility, relieve pain, and restore functional abilities.
Can physical therapy help with chronic pain?
Yes, physical therapy can be an effective treatment approach for managing chronic pain. Physical therapists are trained to assess and address musculoskeletal imbalances, movement dysfunctions, and other physical factors that may contribute to chronic pain. They can develop individualized treatment plans that may include exercises, manual therapy, modalities such as heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, and education on pain management strategies. PT can help improve strength, flexibility, posture, and overall physical function, leading to reduced pain and improved quality of life.
What conditions can be treated with physical therapy for chronic pain?
Physical therapy can be used to manage chronic pain caused by a wide range of conditions, including but not limited to:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Chronic headaches
- Joint pain (such as hip, knee, or shoulder pain)
- Neuropathic pain (caused by nerve damage)
- Muscular imbalances and postural dysfunctions
Is physical therapy painful?
Physical therapy is generally not intended to be painful. However, some discomfort or mild soreness may be experienced during certain exercises or manual therapy techniques. Physical therapists are trained to carefully monitor and adjust the treatment to minimize pain and discomfort. It’s essential to communicate openly with your physical therapist about your pain levels and any concerns you may have during your PT sessions.
How long does physical therapy for chronic pain typically last?
The duration of physical therapy for chronic pain can vary depending on the severity and complexity of the condition, as well as the individual’s response to treatment. Some people may require only a few weeks of PT, while others may need several months or even ongoing maintenance sessions to manage their chronic pain effectively. Your physical therapist will assess your condition and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. Our orthopedic doctors in Benbrook TX (and Bedford specialists as well) recommend keeping other members of your care team up to date on treatment plans and progress as well.
Is physical therapy the only treatment needed for chronic pain?
Physical therapy can be a valuable component of a comprehensive chronic pain management plan, but it may not be the sole treatment needed for everyone. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of the chronic pain, other treatment modalities may be recommended in conjunction with PT, such as the following:
- Non-invasive treatments
- Psychological interventions
- Lifestyle modifications
It’s essential to work with a healthcare team, including your physical therapist, to develop a holistic and individualized approach to manage your chronic pain effectively.
Can I continue physical therapy at home?
Physical therapists often provide home exercises and self-care strategies as part of a comprehensive PT treatment plan. These exercises and strategies can be continued at home to reinforce the gains made during PT sessions and to promote ongoing pain management. It’s crucial to follow your physical therapist’s instructions carefully and communicate any changes or concerns you may have during your home exercise program.
Physical therapy can be a valuable and effective treatment approach for managing chronic pain. It is essential to work closely with a licensed physical therapist to develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. At Comprehensive Pain Institute we know how important it is to find the treatment plan to help you take control of your pain. Whether you are dealing with back pain, joint pain, migraines or other types of chronic pain, the Comprehensive Pain Institute has you covered!