How Physical Therapy Can Reduce Pain

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By Johnna Bear, DPT

October 9, 2016

Physical Therapy Can Help You Manage & Reduce Pain

October is National Physical Therapy Month!  Many people are referred to physical therapy on a daily basis, but do not always understand why.  A physical therapist will assess your physical activity level through different testing to find the underlying issues of the pain. A physical therapist or physical therapist’s assistant will then continue treating you to help reduce your pain and improve your activity level.  

Physical therapy helps reduce pain through movement and has been proven by research to be as effective as surgery for conditions such as meniscus tears (in the knee) and rotator cuff tears (in the shoulder).  With the growing use of opioids, people are deferring physical therapy treatments in order to get a “fast fix.”  The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is helping to increase awareness of the harmful effects of opioids and how physical therapy can be more effective in managing conditions.

Research provided by the APTA shows over 259 million prescriptions were written in 2012, which is enough for every adult in the United States, and over 1,000 people are treated daily in emergency rooms for improper use of opioid medications.  Physical therapy is the recommended treatment for chronic conditions, such as back pain and osteoarthritis. 

Opioids mask the pain whereas physical therapy treats the symptoms directly.  Though treatment may last up to six weeks, the effects of physical therapy are much greater than relying on pain medications.  Patients of all ages with a wide variety of diagnoses can be treated effectively with physical therapy. 

We only get one body, and it needs to be taken care of correctly!  If you have any questions regarding physical therapy and treatment, feel free to ask your doctor or call a physical therapist directly to see what can be done for you.  Help us celebrate National Physical Therapy Month!

Johnna Bear, DPT, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and the Director of Therapy Services at Trinity Hospital Twin City. For more information about THTC’s Therapy Services department, click here.


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