Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain
At Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), we use physical therapy for chronic pain. Because our philosophy is oriented toward pain recovery rather than pain management, we use methods that are noninvasive, nonpharmacological, and nonaddictive. Physical therapy meets this criteria, with solid evidence to back up its efficacy. Generally speaking, physical therapy uses physical methods, such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise, rather than drugs or surgery as a means of treatment. Physical therapy helps relieve pain by increasing mobility, endurance, and flexibility and by strengthening an individual’s body. Physical therapists typically treat individuals for a prescribed amount of time and then provide exercises and techniques that can be used at home to prevent additional painful episodes and promote long-term pain relief.
Physical Therapists Address a Wide Range of Conditions, Including Knee, Back, and Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, and More
There are a wide variety of chronic pain conditions that can be improved with physical therapy, including headaches, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and sports injuries, as well as neck pain, back pain, and knee pain. Physical therapists use massage, movement therapy, exercise, manipulation of joints, ice, heat, and electrical stimulation to help individuals with pain. For instance, someone with neck pain might receive cold or heat application, deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound prior to taking on a stretching and strengthening regimen for the neck. Some of the same techniques might be used for back pain, along with exercise to strengthen core muscles in the abdomen and hyperextension of the spine using machines or on the floor with a mat. Physical therapy is also particularly effective for knee pain, where a physical therapist might use a number of methods, concentrating on strengthening and stretching the muscles that support the knee. Preventive measures are also stressed in sessions with physical therapists. For instance, they might emphasize the importance of good posture and practical shoes for prevention of pain and long-term maintenance of pain relief.
Finding the Right Combination When Using Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain
Regardless of the source of pain, each client at Las Vegas Recovery Center receives a thorough evaluation of the pathological conditions causing the pain, as well as an assessment of other dimensions affecting their health, before embarking on physical therapy for chronic pain. No two individuals are alike, so diagnoses and approaches to recovery will be different. Based on the assessment, a physical therapy plan may be established that will help clients get progressively stronger, with more endurance and flexibility, as well as more overall mobility, all of which help with pain recovery. As health improves, outlook on life typically gets better, which is a psychological contributor to pain relief. While good results have been achieved, physical therapy is usually considered only part of an overall treatment plan that includes additional therapies. It is important to work not with just a physical therapist but also with a medical doctor who can monitor all of the health conditions that may be involved in an individual’s chronic pain. Along with a psychologist, an MD, and other experienced healthcare professionals, a physical therapist will help comprise a valuable team.