Physical Therapy: A Drug-Free Way to Control Inflammatory Pain
For people with chronic pain, life presents some very real obstacles. If you’re dealing with inflammatory pain, chances are you already realize that you need a long-term solution rather than a short-term one, especially if you have a chronic illness that causes persistent or recurrent pain. Sadly, many of the medical treatments offered to you can produce chronic problems and hazards for long-term pain management.
For instance, the NIH points to opioid prescriptions as the cause of a “silent epidemic” of dependence and disability.
In this blog, we’ve provided some reasons to choose physical therapy as the logical alternative for long-term pain relief, instead of the harmful alternative of opioids.
Is Your Joint Health Up To Par? Physical Therapy Can Make Sure It Is!
The healthier your joints are, the less they will bother you. Chronic problems such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can cause ever-increasing damage to the joints, leading to progressive pain and disability.
Physical therapy can help you minimize this damage and optimize your pain-free range of motion. Running, swimming and other exercises keep joints limber and lubricated, while strengthening exercises will give muscles as well as connective tissue additional support.
Physical Therapy Reduces Tissue Strain
The same strengthening exercises that reduce stress on your joints could also result in less soft tissue strain. Do you suffer from chronic neck or back pain? If so, you may benefit from exercises that build up the major muscle groups in these areas.
Regular exercise to strengthen your core muscles can also stabilize your balance and help you maintain a straight, healthy posture. As a result, your muscles are less vulnerable to the aches and pains caused by structural imbalances.
Avoiding Inflammation Can Decrease Pain
Exercises and massage therapy can get your circulation going so you can expel those inflammatory substances. Our physical therapist can also recommend dietary changes that emphasize anti-inflammatory foods that are also rich in antioxidants. If you suffer from an inflammation problem, Healthline suggests avoiding these foods to decrease your pain:
- “Sugary beverages: Sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices
- Refined carbs: White bread, white pasta, etc.
- Desserts: Cookies, candy, cake, and ice cream
- Processed meat: Hot dogs, bologna, sausages, etc.
- Processed snack foods: Crackers, chips, and pretzels
- Certain oils: Processed seed and vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil
- Trans fats: Foods with partially hydrogenated ingredients
- Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption”
The same inflammatory substances that help the body cope with infection or injury can also cause chronic pain. Many physical therapy techniques do an excellent job of reducing inflammation and the chronic pain that accompanies it.
Sit Up Straight!
Having good posture can help a ton of things in your life, including the amount of pain you’re in from day to day. Do you suffer from neuropathy — pain or other odd symptoms that plague your arms, hands, legs, or feet? These symptoms are commonly caused by pinched nerves in the upper or lower spinal column. An unbalanced posture or spinal misalignment can produce (or aggravate) this impingement.
Ongoing physical therapy exercises, chiropractic adjustments, and lifestyle changes that promote proper ergonomics can help you stand, sit and move correctly, taking away the pinching sensation of your nerve tissue in the process to ease your symptoms. Your therapist can also assess your working environment as well to help you choose more ergonomically designed furniture, such as a standing desk or a computer chair that supports your back in all the right places.
Receiving Pain Signals
Breathing exercises, body awareness, and other mindfulness training methods can help you change your relationship with, and perception of, your chronic pain for the better. This approach can prove especially valuable for chronic pain that is idiopathic (stemming from no known or treatable physical cause).
Pain signals are generated by the brain, so it follows that long-term pain management might include techniques to “rewire” the brain’s activities in this area.
Let A Physical Therapist Change Your Life For The Better
Your pain condition won’t improve if you just sit on your couch all day and flick through television channels. You have to be willing to put forth the necessary effort to start feeling better!
As the ancient saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Take that all-important first step on your journey toward a lifetime of better health and freedom from pain. Contact our physical therapy clinic today and schedule a consultation with our physical therapist!
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