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Chronic Pain: Is Physical Therapy the Best Option?

By: Dr. Ashley Bertorelli, PT, DPT

Chronic pain is a common medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In fact, a study published in the Journal Pain reports that in a 2019 study, "we found that 50.2 million adults (20.5%) reported pain on most days or every day." Chronic pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, disease, inflammation, mental health factors, and/or age-related wear and tear. Regardless of the cause, chronic pain can be debilitating and impact a person’s quality of life. While there are many treatments for chronic pain, Physical Therapy is often considered the best option. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Non-invasive Treatment: Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t require any medication or surgery. Instead, a physical therapist will work with the patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that includes exercises, stretches, and other techniques to help manage pain. Natural modalities without side-effects may also be included in the treatment plan to reduce pain, including laser or light therapy, cupping, Graston technique/scraping, manual therapy techniques, and/or custom foot orthotics.

2. Focuses on the Root Cause: Physical therapy doesn’t just treat the symptoms of chronic pain; it focuses on addressing the root cause of the pain. A physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the underlying cause of the pain and develop a treatment plan to address it. 3. Addresses Musculoskeletal Issues: Chronic pain often involves musculoskeletal issues, such as joint stiffness, muscle weakness, or poor posture. Physical therapy can help improve these issues by strengthening muscles, improving flexibility, and correcting posture. 4. Improves Quality of Life: Chronic pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks, work, or enjoy leisure activities. Physical therapy can help patients manage their pain and improve their overall quality of life by increasing mobility, reducing pain, and improving function. We are also often able to reduce or eliminate patients' reliance on pain medication, which is helpful to quality of life.

5. Provides Long-Term Relief: While medication can provide short-term relief for chronic pain, physical therapy can provide long-term relief. By identifying and addressing the actual source of the pain and improving musculoskeletal issues, physical therapy can help patients manage their pain and prevent it from recurring. To conclude, Physical therapy is an effective and non-invasive treatment for chronic pain. By addressing the root cause of the pain and improving musculoskeletal issues, physical therapy can help patients manage their pain and improve their quality of life. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, consider giving us a call and scheduling an initial evaluation! We are versed and comfortable with evaluation and treatment of chronic pain. You may also reach out on our contacts form to get started toward scheduling a free consultation or initial evaluation here:

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