7 Key Benefits of Physical Therapy for Pain Management

7 Key Benefits of Physical Therapy for Pain Management

Have you ever noticed that physical therapy (PT) is a key treatment recommendation for most pain problems? From persistent lower back pain and sciatica to chronic joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, PT has an outsized role in decreasing inflammation, restoring strength and mobility, providing long-lasting pain relief, and helping you heal.

At CurePain in Torrance, California, interventional pain management specialist Dr. David Wu considers PT an indispensable element of any well-rounded treatment plan to ease or eliminate a chronic pain problem. Here’s what makes it so beneficial.

1. Physical therapy meets you exactly where you’re at

No matter your physical condition or pain problem, PT meets you exactly where you are and gives you a detailed roadmap to help you get where you want to go. Simply put, PT is for everybody — every age group, health status, fitness level, and pain condition.

Whether you’re an inactive person dealing with persistent back, hip, and leg pain, a highly active individual living with a long-standing sports injury, or an older, moderately active person hobbled by joint pain, PT can help you.

2. Physical therapy aims to treat the underlying cause of pain

PT isn’t simply movement for the sake of moving. It’s a comprehensive program of highly targeted exercises and stretches designed to safely, efficiently, and systematically decrease inflammation, strengthen and stabilize muscles, restore optimal joint range of motion, and ease pain.

A physical therapist understands and works off of your specific diagnosis. For example, if you have lower back pain caused by a bulging spinal disc, they create a therapeutic movement plan to help alleviate pressure within your spine and address other areas of stiffness or weakness that may be stressing the spots that hurt. 

3. Physical therapy moves you forward at your own pace

From the moment you begin, PT is tailored to your specific needs: It considers your pain condition and range of motion limitations and eases you into simple exercises and stretches to help you improve on both counts. Your PT program also evolves to match your changing needs and abilities each step of the way for continued improvement. 

PT is safe, and it shouldn’t hurt. But depending on your treatment plan and specific session goals, PT can be challenging — even hard. For example, you may feel sore after flexibility (stretching) or resistance (strength) training, but that soreness should gradually diminish and leave you feeling more balanced. PT will push you to help you improve, but it won’t push you beyond your capabilities.

4. Physical therapy enhances other treatment benefits

Chronic pain can diminish every aspect of your existence, making it hard to lead a full and productive life. Because it can feel impossible to move past a chronic pain condition when you’re always in pain, treatments that provide instant relief are often necessary: Depending on your needs, Dr. Wu may recommend radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, facet joint injections, anti-inflammatory corticosteroid injections, pain medication, or something else. 

Once you’ve attained significant pain relief, it’s easier to engage in PT exercises and stretches that can help you fundamentally improve your condition. To put it another way — PT uses the pain-free space provided by medical pain interventions to help you improve your condition over the long term. 

5. Physical therapy helps restore pain-free mobility

PT is a rehabilitative technique with one objective: to restore the highest possible level of pain-free function and mobility while simultaneously preventing long-term damage and further loss of mobility. 

A comprehensive PT program is more than an individualized fitness plan built on a combination of strength exercises and stretches for your body; it’s also a wellness program that addresses multiple facets of your health to give you the best possible chance of success. Your plan may include massage, dietary, sleep, lifestyle recommendations, ice or heat therapy, and other helpful strategies. Stick with your plan, and you’ll attain the benefits.

6. Physical therapy reduces your reliance on pain medication 

As you advance through PT, your chronic pain condition will improve, gradually reducing your reliance on pain medication. Remember, PT targets the root cause of your pain or movement limitations to provide long-term relief. 

By improving or eliminating the conditions that perpetuate the underlying cause of your pain, PT can help you reduce or eliminate your sustained need for pain medication. 

7. Physical therapy makes surgery less likely 

Because PT is so effective for alleviating, improving, or resolving chronic pain, many patients no longer consider the possibility of needing surgical intervention. They simply continue making gains and improving their condition through their PT program. 

We have answers if you have questions about the benefits of PT. Call our friendly staff at 424-235-6565 today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule an appointment at our Torrance, California, office any time. 

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