How can physical therapy help manage my pain?

For chronic pain conditions, the ultimate goal is to improve your ability to function throughout your daily life.  A physical therapist takes the time to educate you on your condition, as well as aggravating and relieving factors, and improve your ability to independently manage your pain after completing your care plan.  Individuals who participate in physical therapy significantly increased their ability to cope with pain. They improve their ability to be active, healthy, and involved members of their communities. In fact, research suggests that the best self-management programs teach people different ways of thinking about and responding to pain, making their actions to relieve it more effective.

What are the risks of opiod use?

Common side effects of opioid administration include sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression. Chronic use of opiods may also lead to liver damage, and brain damage resulting from respiratory depression. Becoming dependent on or addicted to opiods runs the risk of causing withdrawl symptoms once usage is decreased or discontinued.  

When should I choose PT for pain-management?

The CDC recommends nonopoid approaches such as physical therapy to manage pain in their opioid prescription guidelines. These guidelines recognize that prescription opioids are appropriate in certain cases, including cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care, and also in certain acute care situations, if properly dosed. Our physical therapists are able to determine if physical therapy may be right for you during an evaluation.

Do I need a physician referral to see a physical therapist?

No. All 50 states allow evaluations by a physical therapist, though some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral. Check out APTA's direct access summary chart (.pdf) to see the restrictions in your state.

What is the difference between physical therapy and physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is physical therapy, only more effective. Research shows that when personalized mobility exercises are combined with hands-on release of tight muscles and joints, patients achieve better outcomes. Because of these studies, physiotherapy is now considered the world-class standard. At Results Physiotherapy, we guarantee that every clinician receives ongoing professional training in physiotherapy.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain affects each person differently but can be described as discomfort or an unpleasant sensation that lasts for three or more months. The pain can range from mildly inconvenient to completely dibilatating, and can be either continuous or episodic. 

Can physical therapy help lower back pain?

Yes! Your physical therapist can create a treatment tailored to your specific lower back pain symptoms. Your individualized plan may include manual therapy, strengthening exercises, heat, ice or electrical stimulation, and most importantly education about your condition to help restore mobility and reduce low back pain.

What is osteoarthritis and can PT help?

Osteoarthritis is caused by deterioration of the joints and is the most common form of arthritis. Physical therapy is effective in relieving the pain associated with OA and may help slow the condition's progression. Your therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the best course of treatment which may include manual therapy, strengthening exercises and suggestions for adjusting your movement and posture during daily activites as to not aggrevate your OA.

What is fibromyalgia and can PT help?

Difficult to diagnose, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue when left unmanaged. There are no definitive cures for fibro at this time, but physical therapy can help decrease symptoms through a customized exercise program. Your program will include strengthening and aerobic exercises and focus on education about your pain signals. 

What can I do if my doctor wants to prescribe me opiods for my pain?

Your heatlhcare professional wants you to live without pain. You should feel confident in asking your doctor if there are viable options to treating your pain other than opiods, such as physical therapy.

To help prepare yourself for your visit we recommend making a list of questions you have for your doctor and filling out our pain assessment worksheet to bring with you to your appointment.

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