If you suffer from upper or lower back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, or any other form of chronic pain, you know how disruptive it can be. Chronic pain can stop you from doing everyday tasks such as going to work, doing household chores, exercising, or enjoying your favorite sport. It can even keep you from getting the sleep you need. That is why it is so important to come up with a comprehensive management plan. In many situations, this may include both a physical therapy referral and a home exercise plan.
Physical therapy is ideal for many with chronic pain brought on by illness or injury. It can help you move more freely and become more independent. It focuses on a multitude of approaches. Chronic pain can be caused by several different causes. Even though you feel the pain in a specific area, the source of the pain could be someplace else. While therapy may not cure conditions such as arthritis, it will bring relief in combination with home exercise.
A therapist recommended by the Pain Center will develop a treatment plan based on the cause of your pain, your underlying physical status, and your motivation. The plan may change as time goes by, depending on how you respond. A variety of options can be used.
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Graded Motor Imagery
- Heat or Ice Packs
- Sensory Re-Education
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Chronic pain may cause some to avoid all physical activity, but this can lead to additional problems, such as weakness, loss of muscle mass and range of motion, and reliance on medication. The alternative is to begin regular exercise. Exercise at home can help you overcome pain and improve your functional level when it is supervised by a physical therapist and a clinician. Staying motivated with an exercise routine will help you feel better by allowing you to work on the muscle groups you use most often in daily life. Inform your physical therapist of any shortness of breath, chest pain or not being able to do certain activities. They use this information to develop a home exercise program personalized to your needs.
Both Physical Therapy and Home Exercise
Treatment for chronic pain affects each person differently. With therapy and home exercise, some find relief quickly, while others may not see improvement for several weeks. For best results, be sure to go to every physical therapy appointment, and do all of your home exercises consistently. The two together can greatly improve your quality of life.
Certain treatments may work better than others. Communicate with your clinician and physical therapist when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. Your clinician might be able to adjust, even taper some medication as you gain strength and function. That reduces the risk of medication side effects and drug interactions. Your doctor and physical therapist will work with you to find the right combination for chronic pain management.
Now you know that a combination of therapy and a home exercise plan gets better results. Many people are able to continue their rehabilitation at home with a well-designed home exercise program.
Contact us today to consult with a board-certified pain clinician for an assessment of your chronic pain condition. Together, we will devise a plan that may work to improve your health, function, and quality of life.