Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain: What to Expect
How Does Physical Therapy Treat Pain?
Physical therapists are experts not only in treating pain but also its source. At Gulf Coast Pain Institute Dr. Metcalfe and her team will look for areas of weakness or stiffness that may be adding stress to the places that hurt. Once your pain source has been determined the Physical Therapy Team at Gulf Coast Pain Institute will treat those areas with certain exercises to reduce pain and help you move better.
In a physical therapy session, you may do more than one of these things:
Low-impact aerobic training. These workouts will rev up your heart rate and still take it easy on your joints. For instance, you might walk fast or use a stationary bike to warm up, instead of running, before you do your strengthening exercises.
Strengthening exercises. You might use machines, resistance bands, or your own body weight (think lunges, squats, and push-ups). You may work on your core muscles (belly, glutes, and back), as well as other parts of your body.
Pain relief exercises. These moves target areas where you have pain, so you’re stronger and more flexible — which should make it easier to live your life.
Stretching. This will be gentle, and your therapist will make sure that you’re warmed up and you don’t stretch too far.
Dr. Metcalfe may also prescribe exercises to do at home.
What Else Might I Do?
During your sessions at Gulf Coast Pain Institute, your Dr. Metcalfe and her team may also use:
Heat and ice packs. Ice calms inflammation. Heat warms up your muscles so they move better. Both can lower pain.
Massage. Keep in mind that when you get massaged on areas that are injured, sore, or in pain, it may not feel relaxing. But your massage therapist will take great care to make sure it’s safe and helpful for you.
TENS and ultrasound. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, uses a device to send a low-voltage electric current to the skin over the area where you have pain. Ultrasound sends sound waves to the places you have pain. At Gulf Coast Pain Institute we are proud to offer both as either have the ability to relief by blocking the pain messages sent to your brain.
Will It Hurt?
Physical therapy shouldn’t hurt, it will be safe and under the supervision of Kendra Keyes Metcalfe, PT, DPT. It is important, however, to remember because you’ll use parts of your body that are injured or have chronic pain, physical therapy can be challenging, even hard. Your therapist has a specific plan in mind based on your particular needs. Sometimes to get stronger, you have to do some tough training. It will push you, but it shouldn’t be too much.
Each person may respond differently to therapy. Your body type, daily activities, alignment, and habits all affect your plan. Stick with it, and you’ll get the benefits.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy and how it can help with your pain
call our office today to schedule your appointment!