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Physical Therapy and Pain Management

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Sometimes pain relief can be accomplished through physical therapy. Physical therapy (PT) involves treatment that focuses on prevention of injuries or disabilities. PT helps to relieve pain, promote healing, and restore function and movement.

PT is practiced by a professionally trained physical therapist under the referral of a doctor. A physical therapist is a specialist skilled and educated specifically in proper rehabilitation.

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Understanding Back Pain -- the Basics

We've all experienced back problems from time to time -- lower back pain or strain of the neck. In fact, problems from back pain are among the most common physical complaints of American adults and are a leading cause of lost job time -- to say nothing of the time and money spent in search of relief. Back pain includes sore muscles, ligaments and tendons, herniated discs, fractures, and other problems. Most often, the causes of back pain have developed over a long period of time.

Read the Understanding Back Pain -- the Basics article > >

How Is Physical Therapy Used to Treat Pain?

A therapist may focus on decreasing pain with either passive or active therapy. Examples of passive physical therapy include:

Examples of active physical therapy include:

  • Stretching and range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Pain relief exercises
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning

Points to Consider About Physical Therapy and Pain

An important aspect to keep in mind about physical therapy and pain relief is that each individual may respond differently to therapy. People have different types of bodies, different patterns of movement, and different habits. Physical therapists and their trained staff can monitor each individual and attempt to correct improper habits and movement patterns.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 20, 2012
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