Making Decisions About Home Care

How Does Physical Therapy Help Patients With Long-Term Pain?

by Mae Ferguson

Physical therapy is often thought of as a remedy for people with sports injuries or acute ailments. However, if you suffer from long-term, chronic pain, you can also benefit from seeing a physical therapist. Even if your condition is not curable, here are three improvements you can expect to experience when you see a physical therapist for your chronic pain condition.

1. Reduced Pain

If you are tired of taking pain relievers to manage your pain, you may want to see a physical therapist. They can recommend specialized exercises that help loosen the painful area, easing your discomfort through natural means. They may also prescribe exercises to strengthen the area around the painful area, thus taking strain off the painful area. For example, if you have chronic arthritis in your knee, they may show you exercises to strengthen your hips so that when you walk, your hips take more of the pressure and there is not so much strain on your knees.

2. Increased Activity

When you suffer from chronic pain, it's easy to get stuck in a cycle of doing less and less. It's not easy to get out there and exercise, so you don't do it. Then, exercise becomes even harder because you are not in shape. Physical therapy can help break this cycle. The activity you get with your therapist will help get you in the habit of moving more, so you have an easier time also going out and being active on your own time. Increased activity is better for your heart and for your mental health in the long run.

3. Prevention of Further Injuries

If you have chronic pain in one area or joint, it can affect the way you walk and move. Over time, this imbalance can lead to further injuries and problems. For example, if your left knee always hurts and you favor it, the increased pressure on your right leg may eventually lead to shin splints in the right leg. Your physical therapist can help detect and manage such problems before they get too bad. This will keep the rest of your body pain-free and in good shape for a longer period of time. 

If you suffer from chronic pain, whether due to arthritis or another condition, you should make an appointment with a physical therapist today. He or she will begin by evaluating your condition and will then recommend specialized exercises for your needs.