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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 treatments that focus on prevention and management 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. A physical therapist is a specialist skilled and educated specifically in evaluation and conservative management, including rehabilitation, of orthopaedic, neurologic, and cardiovascular conditions..

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    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:

    • Manual therapies
    • Heat/ice packs
    • Electrical stimulation, including TENS units
    • Ultrasound
    • Dry needling

    Examples of active physical therapy include:

    • Movement based activities, including stretching and range of motion exercises
    • Specific 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 Ross Brakeville, DPT on January 26, 2015
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