Working with a physical therapist is one of your best bets when you’re experiencing pain due to a musculoskeletal injury or a chronic condition like arthritis. As experts in body movement and function, physical therapists don’t just tell patients to pop a pill or sleep away their pain—they tackle it at its source.
In this blog, we are going to delve into the benefits of seeing a physical therapist for anyone wanting to successfully manage or even conquer their pain without surgery or heavy reliance on pain medications.
Taking the Non-Drug Approach to Pain Relief
Physical therapists utilize a variety of non-drug treatment modalities that are not only designed to address pain but also to facilitate a quick and safe recovery for patients dealing with orthopedic injuries.
Below are some of the approaches a physical therapist may incorporate into their care plan:
This modality helps with pain relief by targeting trigger points that develop within stressed muscles. Dry needling essentially acts as a “reset button” for your muscles, thereby enabling them to go back to their normal resting length. It also promotes healthy blood flow and healing in the area by creating microtears in your tissues.
Electrical Stimulation Therapy
Electrical stimulation therapy utilizes low-level electric currents, which work for pain in the following ways:
- Blocking pain signals from reaching your brain, thereby modifying your perception of pain.
- Triggering the release of endorphins, which are the body’s pain-relieving neurotransmitters.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Your PT may also alternate heat and cold therapy to help address your pain. Heat therapy works by enhancing blood flow to the affected area/s (vasodilation); whereas cold therapy helps reduce inflammation especially around a tendon or joint and temporarily suppresses nerve activity, thereby also relieving pain.
This is a manual therapy technique that involves a physical therapist performing a continuum of skilled passive movements to the joint complex while gently working through a natural level of resistance. These movements are designed to stretch and strengthen the structures supporting the affected joint, thereby helping reduce pain, releasing tension, and improving its range of motion.
Helping You Increase Your Pain Threshold Through Exercise
If you’re living with chronic pain, you likely have a low pain threshold, which means it only takes minimal pain for you to feel uncomfortable. A physical therapist will work with your orthopedic doctor to develop an individualized program, which could consist of a combination of the modalities mentioned above and cardiovascular, stretching, strengthening, and flexibility exercises, to improve your pain threshold.
Exercise in itself is beneficial for people living with chronic pain, as it pumps up the production of endorphins. It also helps reduce inflammation and improves mobility.
Your PT will guide you on which exercises and intensity level are suitable for you based on your specific medical condition.
Trusted Physical Therapists in Austin, TX
At Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness, our physical therapists are best known for their expertise, extensive experience, and dedication to providing the highest quality of care. With the exceptional treatment outcomes we deliver, we have helped scores of patients in Austin, Round Rock, Manor, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bee Cave, and Hutto successfully break free from the pain and movement limitations imposed by their musculoskeletal problems.
To see one of our physical therapists, call our main office today here in Austin at (833) 215-9272 or our satellite office near you. Alternatively, you may fill out this convenient appointment request form, and one of our staff members will promptly contact you to schedule your visit.