Tag Archives: natural pain relief

Frustrated by Your Chronic Joint Pain? See How Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Arthritis Pain.

The latest study revealed an estimated 54.4 million US adults have diagnosed arthritis—about 1 in 4 Americans. Of those, about 27% report experiencing severe joint pain.

Types of Arthritis

There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common type. The cushioning surface on the bones wears away, and bone rubs against bone. The joints can lose strength, and joint pain is often chronic. With inflammatory arthritis, the immune system goes awry. It attacks the joints with inflammation. This can cause joint erosion and joint pain. Infectious arthritis occurs when a virus or bacteria enters the joint. Even though antibiotics may end the infection, arthritis can become chronic. Metabolic arthritis is due to too much uric acid in the body. It can build up and cause chronic joint pain.

Physical Therapy for Arthritis

Physical therapy focuses on improving mobility for those with arthritis. It also restores the use of affected joints, reduces pain and strengthens muscles to support the joints. A physical therapist will create an individualized treatment plan to improve flexibility, coordination and strength for maximum physical function.

Specifically, a physical therapist will use exercise and manual therapy to treat arthritis. Strengthening exercises and weight-bearing exercises are implemented to improve joint lubrication. This helps reduce the pain associated with arthritis. A physical therapist will develop a treatment plan that targets all areas of the body affecting the pain. For example, if you suffer from knee pain, the exercise regimen will include proper knee mechanics and the lower back, ankle and hip. Physical therapists also use various manual therapy techniques like joint and soft tissue mobilization to treat the symptoms of arthritis.

Joint mobilization entails the moving of a joint through working with a natural level of resistance. This technique helps stretch and strengthen the tissue surrounding bone and reduces pain and increases range of motion. Other passive modalities that a physical therapist may use to treat pain from arthritis include ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), cryotherapy or heat. TENS utilizes electrodes to trick the pain from feeling pain. Ultrasound utilizes heat to help the deep tissues of joints. It helps reduce inflammation and pain. Cryotherapy reduces inflammation and swelling. All around, physical therapy is a holistic treatment for arthritis.

Physical Therapy vs Surgery

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Trying physical therapy before opting for surgery may be the better choice. You may be able to spare yourself the expense, pain, and recovery time of surgery, says physical therapist Karen Weber, clinical supervisor at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Outpatient Centers in Braintree and Quincy, Mass. There is growing evidence supporting that idea. In the past few years, studies have indicated that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery for relieving pain and restoring function for people with arthritis in their knees or backs.”

If you’re suffering from arthritis, it’s wise to consider physical therapy at Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy. Not only is it non-invasive, you may be able to throw away those pain meds. The goal of physical therapy is to help you live an active, pain-free life.

Source:

 

Could your back pain be caused by a herniated disc? Here’s what to look for.

How do you know whether you have a herniated disc or it’s just good old back pain? One telltale sign can be where the pain is located. With a herniated disc, the pain is typically located in the lumbar spine. That’s the lower part of your backbone. The pain may radiate from the back to the thighs, buttocks or calves. A herniated disc can cause pain whether you’re resting or active. Even a cough or sneeze can cause pain as it puts pressure on pinched nerves.

How to Tell if You Have a Herniated Disc

A good way to determine if you have a herniated disc is to visit your physician. Likely, your doctor will do a physical exam and may even take an x-ray. While an x-ray won’t show a herniated disc, it can help rule other causes of your pain like a fracture. If your doctor recommends having an MRI, this test can show detailed 3-D images of the spinal cord and pinpoint if there is a herniated disc. It also shows which nerves are affected.

The purpose of spinal discs is to act as a shock absorber when you engage in daily activities, like walking, sitting, lifting and running. Each disc has a soft inner ring and a tough outer ring. When the outer ring is injured, the inner ring may protrude out and cause pain. Common causes of a herniated disc include weak muscles, age, being overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle. And if you turn suddenly, you can also incur a herniated disc.

Physical Therapy and Herniated Disc

A physical therapist will have you engage in specific exercises to ease the pain and strengthen the muscles associated with a herniated disc. Physical therapy programs also include ultrasound therapy, deep tissue massage, ice and heat treatment, stretching exercises, electrical muscle stimulation and aerobic exercises. Deep tissue massage uses pressure to relieve spasms and muscle tension due to a herniated disc. Heat therapy helps increase nutrients and oxygen to the affected area for healing. Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Active treatments like exercise for a herniated disc focus on core stability, flexibility and muscle strengthening. Keep in mind that core muscles help support the spine. Learning proper stretching and flexibility techniques will help your body move easier. Muscle strengthening creates a solid support system for the spine and helps relieve pain.

A physical therapist will also teach your self-care principles and home exercises. This way, you can prevent further injury and enjoy the long-term effects of physical therapy. With physical therapy, you’re an active participant in your recovery.

“Herniated discs can be very painful injuries that impact your day-to-day life. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to get surgery to repair your herniated disc. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of patients were able to recover by pursuing non-surgical courses of treatment like physical therapy.” That percentage is a testament to how effective physical therapy is in the treatment of a herniated disc.

Please contact Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist for your back pain.

Source:

 

Hip and Knee Pain Relief with Physical Therapy

There are so many causes of hip and knee pain, from excess weight to sports injuries, advancing age to repetitive motion injuries. Whatever the cause of your hip and/or knee pain, if you are experiencing it regularly you need to find a way to manage it. Many people use medications like anti-inflammatories to minimize their discomfort. However, these medications do have potential side effects, so it can be helpful to find other ways to relieve your pain. Physical therapy may be the solution you are looking for.

An Alternative to Daily Pain Reliever Use – Physical Therapy

If your doctor has told you to take pain relievers every day for your hip and/or knee pain, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations. But it also cannot hurt to ask about alternatives like physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist can help reduce or eliminate your pain in a variety of ways, including:

  • Identify the causes of your hip and knee pain. There may be one or several reasons why you are experiencing hip and knee pain. A physical therapist can examine your movement to help identify things that are contributing to your pain, such as poor posture, unhealthy walking patterns or unhealthy movement patterns at work. Once they identify these kinds of issues, physical therapists can tell you how to correct them.
  • Exercises to increase your strength. Loss of muscular strength can contribute significantly to hip and knee pain because the weaker your muscles get, the more stress is put on your joints. Physical therapy centers around specific exercises designed to target various muscles and strengthen them so that they better support your joints.
  • Exercises to improve mobility and flexibility.Often hip and knee pain can lead to loss of mobility and flexibility – which then increases the wear on your joints and leads to even more pain. Physical therapists can take you through exercises to improve your mobility and flexibility so that you can move your limbs and joints in the fullest range of motion that is available based on your body and circumstances.
  • Heat and ice therapy.Heat can be used to improve your mobility and decrease the amount of pain you are experiencing so that you can move more freely. Ice can also be used to lessen pain from your hip and/or knee as well as to reduce inflammation.
  • Ultrasound therapy.Ultrasound is used by physical therapists to apply heat deeper in your soft tissues to provide pain relief. The heat can improve circulation and aid in healing, which can ultimately reduce the pain you experience day to day.

How Does Physical Therapy Reduce Daily Pain?

You may get pain relief when you are at the physical therapist and going through treatment, but what about when you go home? A major goal of your physical therapist is to heal your injuries over the long term. The various exercises and treatments they use with you will steadily improve your condition so that you experience less pain on a daily basis. As your body gets stronger and more mobile, you are likely to experience less pain in your hips and knees.

Should I Stop Using Pain Relievers?

If your doctor has prescribed you pain relievers it is best to follow the guidance of your doctor. However, you are welcome to discuss physical therapy with your doctor as well. If you find that your pain level has decreased through physical therapy, you can discuss reducing your pain reliever usage with your doctor.

Schedule an Appointment with a Physical Therapist

Please contact Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist for your hip and knee pain. We are standing by to assist you!

Physical Therapy Can Help You Leave the Pain Relievers Behind

If you’re taking pain relievers and just don’t want to stay dependent on them forever, physical therapy can be exactly the solution you need. Physical therapy can be very beneficial for both short-term pain (usually, that which lasts just a few weeks or months) and long-term or chronic pain (that which lasts for more than three months).

The opioid epidemic is often in the news, and it may have started you thinking about the effect that pain pills are having on your life. You might be tired of needing to take pain relievers every day when you wake up, during the day as you struggle to move without pain, and at night just to sleep comfortably.

Opioid medication does play a role in pain management, but it’s really best for situations where you feel severe pain immediately after the injury or immediately after surgery. Ideally, opioid medication should be used sparingly and only for a week or less. Opioid medication was never designed to be the type of drug that you take for months, years, or a lifetime. Opiates can trigger extreme sensitivity in your pain receptors, which is why they may end up making your pain even worse over time.

That’s why physical therapy is such a good alternative. It allows you to bypass that chronic dependency. Physical therapy is designed to relieve the pain without drugs. If it seems too good to be true, just keep reading. You’ll learn how physical therapy can stop the pain and help you leave the pills behind for good.

How Physical Therapy Helps You Leave Pain Pills Behind

Physical therapists are now equipped to help you in two different ways: by restoring your function and relieving your pain. Your physical therapist restores your function by strengthening the weakened muscles, ligaments, tendons, and body tissues. This allows your body to heal and gives you the strong support system you need to enjoy full function long-term.

In addition to getting stronger, you’ll also get pain relief from the newest evidence-based pain interventions. Your doctor and physical therapist can work together to help you feel better. Instead of opioid pain medications, which can be addictive and even deadly, your doctor may prescribe an option like nerve membrane stabilizers and then send you to a skilled physical therapist who can help you heal without the interference of opioid medications.

Your physical therapist can also help you with stress management. If you’re dealing with stress and anxiety because of your pain, physical therapy can improve your life by teaching you new mindfulness techniques like meditation, stress reduction exercises, and other alternative ways to deal with the situations that tend to lead to problems.

Physical therapy isn’t just about your pain. It’s about your whole-body function, your mental wellness, and your long-term health. Your physical therapist can help you improve every aspect of your wellness to overcome pain and enjoy a life without the fog of pain pills for the rest of your life.

Get in touch with our caring physical therapists at Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy to get past pain medication now.

Source:

 

Do You Wake Up Feeling Achy? Try These 3 Stretches First Thing in the Morning.

There are few things worse than waking up in the morning to chronic pain in your neck, back, or joints. Morning aches and pains can make it difficult to complete even the simplest tasks, like getting up out of bed or putting on your shoes. But with the help of a few physical therapist approved stretches, you can begin to work certain areas of the body in the AM to help relieve pain and discomfort. The following physical therapy stretches are ideal for starting your day with flexibility in mind. They are also helpful in restoring your natural range of motion, reducing pain and inflammation as well. Keep reading to learn more.

Top 3 Morning Stretches to Relieve Pain

By committing to a few simple morning stretches each day, you can help to keep your body feeling limber and reduce pain in between your regular physical therapy appointments. Some of the best stretches to use early in your day include:

Child’s Pose

Popular in yoga routines, child’s pose is a great stretch for connective tissue and joint pain. If you suffer from arthritis in the knees or low back pain, this is a great stretch to complete before beginning your day. Start the pose by kneeling in bed, then sitting back so that your bottom is resting comfortably on your heels. Next, gently bend your body forward until your head touches the mattress. It can be helpful to then stretch your arms out and fold them in front of your face for additional support. Once you’ve eased into the position, you can then reach your arms out forward to help open the connective tissues in your neck, shoulders, and back area. Hold the pose for at least 2 minutes.

Low Back Stretch

If you’re dealing with recurring low back pain in the mornings, this simple physical therapy stretch can provide you with a great deal of relief. Begin by laying down on your back, bending your knees and keeping your feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull up one knee towards your chest, while keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Bring the active leg back to the starting position and repeat the stretch with the opposite leg. Keeping the other foot flat on the floor. Next, bring both knees to your chest at once. Hold each position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat stretch at least 3 times.

The Inchworm

This is another physical therapy stretch that is great for relieving joint pain and improving circulation in the mornings. Start by standing with your abs engaged. Slowly roll down, bending at the knee if necessary and touch the floor. Walk your hands forward, until you are in the push-up position. Then walk your feet forward, inch-by-inch, until you reach the back of your hands. Slowly roll your body back up into a standing position. Repeat the stretch at least 5 times, with your core engaged each time.

Discover the Benefits of Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain

If you struggle with aches and pain every morning, you should speak with our physical therapist sooner rather than later about creating a personalized treatment plan. There’s no reason to start your day off in pain and suffering through feelings of discomfort. Are you interested in learning more about the many benefits of physical therapy for pain management? Contact Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy for more information and be sure to schedule an initial consultation with our friendly and experienced physical therapist today.

Stand Up to Your Back Pain! Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Chronic Low Back Pain.

Got low back pain? Then get a physical therapy referral!

Physical therapy is a leading profession involved in the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. In fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons people come to work with a physical therapist. Researchers in our field have even developed concise and comprehensive practice guidelines to help therapists manage this condition in their patients.

Keep reading to learn how physical therapy can help you find meaningful relief from your lower back pain!

1. Many known risk factors for low back pain are preventable—a physical therapist can help you modify these.

Low back pain is so common that most people will have it at least once in a lifetime. It’s not always clear what triggers back pain in the first place, and most experts agree that there are usually multiple issues at play, including activity level, occupation, age, family and medical history, and the presence of other health conditions like smoking, obesity, and diabetes.

A physical therapist can work with you to help you identify and modify your preventable risk factors. For example, sitting too much is correlated with lower back pain. By helping you control your pain and improve your physical function and ergonomic environments, a physical therapist makes it easier for you to increase your physical activity level and minimize the amount of time you spend sitting.

2. A physical therapist can design customized treatment plans that can relieve and resolve your condition.

Based on the current clinical practice guidelines created by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Orthopaedic Section, a person presenting with low back pain can be classified into one of several distinct treatment categories, based on a thorough examination. This type of systematic categorization is cost-effective and beneficial, since it helps patients receive services specifically designed for their needs.

Thanks to their extensive training, a physical therapist can skillfully tease out hidden issues contributing to your back pain condition, such as nerve impingement, movement incoordination, poor core muscle activation, and range of motion limitations. These are issues that are often overlooked or under-addressed by other professionals—and explains why interventions that just provide symptom relief are often not effective in the long-term.

In other words, if underlying issues like instability or incoordination aren’t addressed, your issue is likely to recur! By addressing the underlying causes of your back pain and then systematically managing these issues with personalized treatment based on research, a physical therapist can alleviate your symptoms and reduce your likelihood of chronic suffering.

3. Treatments provided by a physical therapist are drug-free, non-invasive, and safe for all ages.

The risk for low back pain tends to increase with age, but people of all ages can struggle with this broad condition. Fortunately, physical therapy services that are proven effective for low back pain—including corrective exercises and spinal manipulation—are safe and appropriate for folks from all walks of life. If a specific service is contraindicated for you, your physical therapist can deliver plenty of other treatments to support your healing.

Lastly, physical therapists are experts at identifying how low back pain limits a person’s participation in daily activities, and how these limitations can be resolved or compensated for. After all, your progress outside the clinic matters even more than your progress inside the clinic! Our physical therapy team at Advantage Osteopractic Physical Therapy always looks for the bigger picture of your condition and will help you modify your daily tasks in a way that will make you feel successful, safe, and confident.

Do You Depend on Opiods to Keep You Moving? Understand how PT can Kick Your Opioid Dependence.

Do you rely on drugs such as oxycodone or hydrocodone to help you get through your day without agonizing pain? Do you worry that these drugs may be placing your health at unacceptable risk? Do you feel anxious or count the minutes until your next dosage of these pain relievers regardless of that risk? If so, you may be on the threshold of opioid dependence — a dangerous, potentially deadly situation. The good news is that you can get away from those opioid drugs without falling into the grip of unmanageable pain, thanks to the benefits provided by physical therapy. Contact our physical therapist at Advantage PT  to get started on this safe, healthy, drug-free approach to pain management!

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are strong painkilling drugs that are often prescribed to combat severe chronic pain. They are traditionally derived from substances in the poppy plant. Opioids such as morphine, codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone can often deaden pain when milder drugs cannot, making them a common prescription for cancer pain, acute injuries, and severe neurological or musculoskeletal pain. They can also produce euphoria or unconsciousness, making them a highly-abused substance in both legal and illegal forms (such as heroin).

Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and other structures of the body. As the opioids occupy these receptors, they prevent the receptors from receiving pain signals. At the same time, the opioids trigger the release of large amounts of dopamine, a substance that evokes feelings of pleasure.

Why Are Opioids Dangerous?

Unfortunately, the painkilling and pleasurable benefits of opioids come at a frighteningly high price. The simple fact that these drugs are so effective at making you feel good creates a compulsion to keep using them. At the same time, the body builds up an ever-increasing tolerance to the drugs, requiring larger and larger dosages to achieve the same effects. This cycle can lead to a strong, dangerous level of addiction. It’s little wonder, then, that more than 11 million Americans abuse opioids. Eventually, escalating tolerance can force users to take a fatal dose.Two-thirds of all overdose-related deaths in the U.S. are related to some form of opioid.

How Physical Therapy Provides Opioid-Free Pain Relief

You have good reason to fear opioid dependence — and equally good reason to seek out physical therapy as a non-toxic alternative to drugs. Our physical therapist can prescribe a personalized mix of treatment methods that loosen tight muscles, help joints move more freely, build up muscle strength, reduce inflammation, and help tame neurological problems such as herniated discs and pinched nerves. You should consider physical therapy if:

  • You suffer from a chronic, incurable pain condition that might otherwise require a lifetime on opioids
  • Your pain is musculoskeletal or neuromuscular in origin (as opposed to cancer pain, for instance)
  • You’re interested in actually treating the underlying cause of the pain, instead of simply numbing the pain itself
  • You’re experiencing issues such as addiction, depression, or physical side effects from opioid usage — or you’re determined to avoid such issues.

Even if your pain cannot be fully relieved through physical therapy, our physical therapist’s methods may still ease your symptoms to the point that you can get by with minimal dosages. But be aware that if you’re currently dependent on opioids, your doctor must supervise any reduction in dosage for your own safety.

You don’t have to place yourself in the grip of opioid dependence. Talk to our physical therapist at Advantage PT about your non-pharmaceutical treatment options!