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Living with chronic pain can be debilitating. In your search to relieve your pain, you may be asking your doctor to provide the strongest medications possible. However, while strong pain relievers will provide relief in the short term, they may produce a number of undesirable side effects. Seeking the help of a physical therapist to relieve your pain may not be your first thought, but physical therapy can actually help to relieve and eliminate chronic pain. Here are some top reasons why you should choose physical therapy for chronic pain.
Exercise for Pain Relief
Being in chronic pain does not mean that you should not exercise. The common misconception is that if you are in constant pain, then it means you should rest a lot. While rest is critical and does have its benefits, exercise is a must when you are in chronic pain. A physical therapist will help you find exercises that will rewire your nervous system to relieve pain.
Breathing, Relaxation, and Imagery Techniques
A physical therapist will show you how to use breathing techniques, as well as relaxation and imagery techniques, to manage your pain. These techniques are very helpful for times when your pain may be at its worst, because they help to decrease the tension in your muscles and calm down the nervous system. Learning how to breathe and relax when pain strikes will reduce your need for excessive amounts of pain medication.
Get Specific Treatment
Sometimes you are in need of a specific type of treatment to alleviate your pain. While working with you, a physical therapist will be able to determine the specific treatment that will help to control your pain. For example, some chronic pain can be relieved through acupuncture, manual therapy, or electrical muscle stimulation. Your physical therapist will be able to pinpoint exactly what is needed to manage or eliminate chronic pain.
Unlearn Bad Postures and Movements
When you are in chronic pain, your body may adapt to it by learning abnormal postures and movements. These types of abnormal postures and movements must be unlearned before they become a permanent part of how you sit, stand, or walk. Physical therapy will help retrain your body and assist you with recovering correct posture and movements as painlessly as possible.
Physical therapy may not be your first choice when you start thinking about how to manage chronic pain. However, it is one of the best strategies for helping to reduce the need for medication and providing natural pain relief.