What Is the Purpose of Manual Physical Therapy for Those Dealing with Chronic Pain

Published October 31, 2023

Chronic pain is when pain and other symptoms are present for a minimum of three months. This type of pain affects millions of people, and it can greatly impact quality of life. There are various treatment methods that can be effective in managing or reducing chronic pain, and if you have chronic issues, you may want to search for physical therapy near me.

A physical therapist will conduct an initial exam and take note of your level of discomfort, range of motion, balance, strength, and posture. Based on the results, the therapist will recommend a treatment plan that improves your function and reduces your symptoms.

Increasing Your Range of Motion

When you are in pain, your body restricts motion to protect nerve, muscles, and other associated tissues. Over time, this results in a limited range of motion. One of the purposes of your physical therapy sessions is to increase your ROM so you can move more naturally.

Greatly Reducing Pain and Discomfort

One of the main reasons people seek out physical therapy clinics near Portland, OR is to reduce pain and other symptoms, which may include tingling, numbness, muscle tightness, and headaches. Physical therapists use a variety of methods to manage symptoms or, ideally, eliminate them completely.

What You Can Expect from Your Physical Therapy Sessions

When you get physical therapy in Redmond, there are a number of things you can expect.

Treatment Plan Recommendation and Follow Through

Chronic pain indicates that the injury has been there for a while, so you can expect your physical therapist to recommend a treatment plan that consists of multiple sessions. Although you are not required to follow this recommendation, keep in mind that you will get better results if you attend all the sessions and follow additional instructions from your therapist. The PT will also track your progress and make modifications to the plan, if needed.

Potential Treatment Methods

The therapist will use various methods to decrease pain, increase range of motion, and improve overall function. Some methods, including hot and cold therapies and ultrasound, are generally considered to be better for acute pain. However, they may be a part of your sessions.

Manual therapy may be a part of your treatment, especially if you have back or neck pain, headaches, or osteoarthritis. Your therapist may also incorporate massage therapy, dry needling, and electrical stimulation.

Exercises are a big part of your PT sessions. These improve mobility, balance, coordination, and strength. As you begin to move with less and less pain, this sends positive feedback to your brain, allowing you to move even more without pain.

At-Home Instructions

Once your pain starts to subside and your mobility improves, your physical therapist may give you exercises to do at home. These may be in conjunction with, or instead of, your therapy sessions. Your therapist may also recommend other things, such as making ergonomic changes to your desk or things to avoid, so you can better manage symptoms at home. Again, the more you comply with these instructions, the better results you will get.

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