What is the Value of Integrating Physical Therapy & Pain Management

If you live with chronic pain due to spine issues that lasted three months or more, you’re not alone. There are millions of people living with chronic pain every day, and this counts for a significant increase in dependency on prescription medications. This demand has contributed to the opioid crisis, and opioids are both addictive and dangerous when you take them in large amounts for extended periods of time.

Knowing this, many people are turning to physical therapy to help with their pain management. Going to physical therapy and following your therapist’s advice and routines gives you a natural, safe, and tailored way for you to tackle your pain management and improve your quality of life. We’re going to outline the biggest benefits of going this route with your spinal care below.

1. Treats the Root Cause of Your Pain

Part of the reason why people continue to come back to therapy sessions is because of how successful it is at getting to the core of your problem to create an effective pain management strategy instead of simply masking your pain symptoms as prescriptions do. While it can be easier to take pills to get pain relief, they have short-lived success. Most medications only last for 12 to 24-hours at the most, so you’ll have to continually take them if you want to continue having pain relief. So, pills mask the pain without actually fixing the issue.

Fortunately for chronic pain sufferers, therapy does. The physical therapist will put you through a thorough evaluation when you go to your initial appointment. This evaluation will help them pinpoint what your pain’s root cause is. In turn, they’ll put together the best treatment options for this root cause. The goal is to get to the root problem to help give you long-term relief and improve your quality of life.

2. Little or No Side Effects

One big problem with treating chronic pain and pain management involving prescriptions is the side effects. You can steadily build up a tolerance for these medications, so you have to take more and more to get relief. You can quickly become addicted and suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you don’t stay on a consistent schedule with your prescriptions.

With physical therapy, some common treatment options include ultrasound, massage, electrical nerve stimulation, joint mobilization, and diathermy. These are natural treatment options that all come with a very low risk for developing side effects. This is especially true when you compare them to other pain relief and management techniques, such as medications.

3. Supported by Medical-Based, Credible Research

Very strong research and rigorous study are two big ways the medical community has proven physical therapy’s successes with helping manage chronic pain and provide relief. Studies have given a significant amount of credible evidence toward different therapy approaches and treatment methods. The studies illustrate how therapy sessions and compliance can significantly lower a huge number of pain-related conditions, including spinal problems. Scientific research backing care implementation allows your physical therapist to improve your outcome as a patient.

4. Tailored Plans

It’s important to note that your primary care physician or medical team can tailor prescription therapy to your individual needs. However, there is still the chance for side effects, building up a tolerance, and addiction. Physical therapists use a range of passive treatment methods and active exercise plans to help you manage your pain levels. This exercise plan gets specifically tailored to your recovery process, and no two people are the same.

When the therapist builds this plan for you to follow during your visits and at home, they take your pain levels into consideration, activity level, limitations, and the root cause of your pain. They’ll help improve your range of motion, reduce swelling, increase endurance, promote healing, and increase your strength.

5. Teaches You About Your Condition

Chances are, you already know a lot about your condition, what makes it better, and what makes it worse. However, sitting down and going over specific pain management techniques during physical therapy can give you an in-depth view of your condition. In turn, you’ll also learn what you can do on your own time to make yourself more comfortable without overdoing it.

A traditional primary care or pain management doctor can also teach you these things, but it won’t be as in-depth as it would if you went over during physical therapy. You’ll have anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour of one-on-one time with a physical therapist, and this gives you plenty of time to ask any questions you have while getting in-depth answers.

6. Makes You an Active Participant in Your Recovery Process

Unlike some forms of pain management where you’re a more passive participant, physical therapy doesn’t allow for this. You don’t just take a pill or get a shot and sit around and wait for it to give you some relief. Instead, you’re sitting in physical therapy, participating in your treatment schedule.

Your therapist will create a plan to use at home to continue your physical therapy outside of the appointments. This forces you to be an active participant in your own recovery process, and it can help teach you your limits much better than it would if someone simply told you what you could and couldn’t do. The therapist will also be able to gauge how much you’re following their set pain management routine as you return for more sessions, so they can help keep you motivated and on track as you recover.

Florida Spine Associates can Help with Pain Management Techniques

If you’re someone who suffers from chronic pain due to spinal problems, you want to consider every treatment route. Physical therapy is one way to go, and we’re ready to help you find a physical therapist to set up a tailored treatment plan to suit your wants, limitations, and needs. Contact our office to set up a consultation and get on the road to a higher quality of life.