Skip to content

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size

Pain Management and Physical Therapy

Sometimes pain treatment can be accomplished through physical therapy. Physical therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy, involves the treatment, healing, and 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.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

9 Pain Pill Mistakes

It's been a hard day, and Joe's back is killing him. His wife has some Percocet left over from a trip to the dentist, and there's that big bottle of Tylenol under the sink, so Joe grabs a couple of each and washes them down with a slug of beer. Luckily for Joe, he's a fictional character invented for this article. But there are a lot of real-life Joes out there making big mistakes with over-the-counter and prescription pain pills. Can you spot Joe's mistakes? Joe didn't make every mistake in the...

Read the 9 Pain Pill Mistakes 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
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Pain relief exercises
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning

Points to Consider

An important aspect to keep in mind about physical therapy is  that it is individualized to meet each person's individual needs. Each person may respond differently to therapy. People have different types of bodies, different patterns of movement, different alignments, and different habits. Physical therapists and their trained staff can monitor each individual and develop a program to correct improper habits, alignments, and movement patterns.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on August 01, 2013

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
illustration of nerves in hand
Slideshow
lumbar spine
Slideshow
 
Woman opening window
Slideshow
Man holding handful of pills
Video
 
Woman shopping for vegetables
Slideshow
Sore feet with high heel shoes
Slideshow
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
man with a migraine
Slideshow