Have you recently experienced an injury? Do you have chronic headaches or chronic pain? Have you asked your doctor about physical therapy to help you recover, reduce or relieve pain? This article will explore how physical therapy exercises can reduce pain and relieve pain.
There are many ways to reduce pain. Often, medication or invasive measures are needed. Sometimes, you can minimise pain non-invasively; it combines the two. Let’s take a look at non-invasive ways to reduce pain.
- Get some light exercise
- Do some breathing exercises
- Seek out counselling
- Distract yourself
- Get good sleep
- Stay in touch with your friends and family
- Share your story about pain
Exercise can help reduce pain. It keeps your mind distracted and blocks pain signals to the brain. Some everyday activities may include walking, swimming, biking, dancing, and gardening. Light exercise will also help with stiff muscles and joints. In the end, the benefits of exercise will outweigh your pain.
Breathing exercises help your body relax. Focusing on breathing, filling your lungs entirely and slowly exhaling will keep your mind off your pain. It will help relieve the anxiety your pain may cause.
Seek out counselling
It’s not always easy knowing how to deal with pain. Pain can make you stressed, tired, anxious, depressed, and many other emotions. Counselling and talking to someone who knows how to deal with pain and how it affects your brain can benefit your overall well-being.
Distract yourself with a book, movie, tv show, or something you enjoy. It should be relaxing or something that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Some other ideas or hobbies may include sewing, crafting, or knitting. These activities are great for people who have limited mobility.
Sleep is essential and sometimes the best cure for our bodies. Pain can make sleeping difficult. Try to stick to a routine and give your body the best chance for a good night’s rest. Go to bed at the same time each night and have a regular wake-up time in the morning. Avoid taking naps during the day, but if that is what gets you through, don’t hesitate to nap.
Don’t lose touch with your friends and family. They are there for encouragement and support. It’s easy to just stay home from events, but you may miss out on something good. Think about it; you could be in pain at home, or you could be in pain hanging out with your friends. Maybe make your visits shorter and choose activities that won’t overwhelm you.
Sharing your story isn’t for everyone. Sometimes you just want to feel “normal.” Living with pain isn’t normal. However, talking about your account can encourage others suffering from pain. You will understand each other differently than most people. Bonding over pain isn’t the best thing, but knowing you’re not alone can be comforting.
Be patient with the people who don’t understand what chronic pain is like. Often, they don’t know what to say, but they always mean well.
Perhaps you have chronic pain or are recovering from an injury and would prefer not to take a lot of medication. Medication isn’t a bad option, but physical therapy or supplements can sometimes be the ticket.
How is a physical therapy session helpful? Let’s look at a few things you may do with your physical therapist.
- Low-impact aerobic training
- Strengthening exercises
- Pain relief exercises
Generally, in a physical therapy session, you will do a light warm-up on the treadmill or a stationary bike. This is low-impact but will get your heart rate up.
You may also do some strengthening exercises. The physical therapist may have you use resistance bands, treadmills, yoga balls, or even your own body weight. They may have you work on your core muscles and other parts of your body.
Pain relief exercises target your areas of pain. These exercises will help you build up your strength and flexibility. Sometimes yoga is used to help with chronic pain relief.
Stretching helps with flexibility. Your therapist will frequently have you do stretching activities, but plans are individualized as we are all different. The therapist will ensure you do not overdo it and push too far.
There are several other things a physical therapist might do to help you recover from an injury or chronic pain.
- Heat and ice packs
- TENS and ultrasound
- Cold laser therapy
Heat packs warm up the muscles and help with better muscle movement. Ice packs are good for reducing inflammation. Both of these options can help with the pain. Generally, they recommend twenty to thirty minutes of heat, a twenty to thirty-minute break, then alternate with ice for another twenty to thirty minutes.
Massage can keep the muscles loose. It may not seem comfortable to have someone massaging your injured or sore parts. However, physical therapists will ensure it is not painful but helpful and safe.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS units, send a low-voltage electric current to the skin over the area where you have pain. Ultrasound is also used for pain by sending sound waves to the painful site. Both of these may block the pain messages in your brain and give you some relief.
Cold laser therapy is also used for pain. It emits light energy on your skin. It is low energy and does not cut the skin as surgical lasers do. The point, or photons, penetrates deep into the painful area. The light triggers chemical changes that help damaged tissues heal and regrow.
Physical therapists can identify stiffness, pain and ways to overcome them. It will not be perfect, and you may need to see your physical therapist often to get a “tune-up.” Taking care of pain will be well worth the effort.
Katie Meyers is an SEO Specialist at SEO Design Chicago. Before joining the SEO Design Chicago team, she interned for them and as a Content Writer at HZD Creates. Katie is from Washington State and has an AA and a Social Media Marketing Certificate.