Try Physical Therapy

Consider PT

Think about trying physical therapy (PT). A physical therapist can help you keep moving and reduce your pain. Learn more about physical therapists, where to find one, and what they can do for you.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Treatment

Duration

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Get Moving

Pain can create a vicious cycle. When you're in pain, you move less. When you move less, you lose muscle strength and stamina -- and that makes the pain hurt more. Plus, if you're unable to exercise, you miss out on the natural pain relief you get from endorphins -- exercise promotes their production.

Physical therapy is a way to break the cycle. A physical therapist will help you get yourself moving, which is a crucial part of recovering from a painful condition that may become chronic.

Prompt: Hurt too much to move?

CTA: PT breaks the pain cycle.  

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness,

Triggers: carrying or lifting, craning neck, exercising, gardening, heavy lifting, holding a child, housework, moving around, moving joint, pushing or pulling, putting weight on joint, repetitive motions, sports injury, twisting, standing too long, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, overuse,

Treatments: Physical therapy, exercise, range-of-motion,  muscle strengthening, resistance training, stretching, swimming, massage, occupational therapy, cold compress/ cold packs, ergonomic improvements, heating pad, hot compress, ice,  assistive devices, brace, neck collar, orthotics, splint, diathermy, electrical stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), traction, ultrasound

Categories: Treatment

What Happens at PT

Physical therapy can help you with pain in many ways. After a thorough evaluation your physical therapist employs approaches that range from hands-on treatment to specific exercises, that can help ease pain, build strength and stamina, prevent further damage, and improve your day-to-day functioning.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to physical therapy. Together, you and your physical therapist will develop a customized treatment plan. Chronic pain can get you stuck. Physical therapy gets you moving again.

Prompt: Why PT?

CTA: How PT can help.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness

Triggers: carrying or lifting, craning neck, exercising, gardening, heavy lifting, holding a child, housework, moving around, moving joint, pushing or pulling, putting weight on joint, repetitive motions, sports injury, twisting, standing too long, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, overuse

Treatments: Physical therapy, exercise, range-of-motion,  muscle strengthening, resistance training, stretching, swimming, massage, occupational therapy, cold compress/ cold packs, ergonomic improvements, heating pad, hot compress, ice, assistive devices, brace, neck collar, orthotics, splint, diathermy, electrical stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), traction, ultrasound

Categories: Treatment

How PT Works

* Active physical therapy includes things that you do, such as stretching, strengthening, and making lifestyle changes.

* Passive physical therapy includes treatments that you receive, such as manual interventions, ultrasound, electrical stimulation such as TENS, dry needling, heat or ice, and others. 

You'll most likely get a combination of active and passive PT. See what your physical therapist thinks would help you most.

Prompt: How PT Works

CTA: Find out what to expect.  

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness

Triggers: carrying or lifting, craning neck, exercising, gardening, heavy lifting, holding a child, housework, moving around, moving joint, pushing or pulling, putting weight on joint, repetitive motions, sports injury, twisting, standing too long, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, overuse

Treatments: Physical therapy, exercise, range-of-motion,  muscle strengthening, resistance training, stretching, swimming, massage, occupational therapy, cold compress/cold packs, ergonomic improvements, heating pad, hot compress, ice,  assistive devices, brace, neck collar, orthotics, splint, diathermy, electrical stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), traction, ultrasound

Categories: Treatment

PT and Exercise

Exercise is one of the best treatments for chronic pain. But it may seem impossible to get started. When you're in pain, just walking across a room can be agony -- let alone going for a jog.

Physical therapy can help. A physical therapist can design an exercise plan just for you. You'll learn how to gradually build up strength and stamina safely while minimizing pain. Having regular appointments will also help you stay on track with your fitness plan.

Prompt: Can't exercise?

CTA: PT will get you on track.  

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness

Triggers: carrying or lifting, craning neck, exercising, gardening, heavy lifting, holding a child, housework, moving around, moving joint, pushing or pulling, putting weight on joint, repetitive motions, sports injury, twisting, standing too long, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, overuse

Treatments: Physical therapy, exercise, range-of-motion,  muscle strengthening, resistance training, stretching, swimming, massage, occupational therapy, cold compress/cold packs, ergonomic improvements, heating pad, hot compress, ice,  assistive devices, brace, neck collar, orthotics, splint, diathermy, electrical stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), traction, ultrasound

Categories: Treatment

Questions to Ask

Before you start physical therapy, here are some things to consider.

* Find out the physical therapist's specialty. Make sure that he or she has experience treating people with pain like yours.

* Make sure your insurer covers PT. Find out how many sessions you're allowed.

* Ask how often you'll see your physical therapist. Will it be once a week? Will you need short or long-term treatment?

* Make sure the physical therapist will work directly with your doctors to coordinate treatment.

Prompt: Considering PT?

CTA: Here's what to think about.  

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness

Triggers: carrying or lifting, craning neck, exercising, gardening, heavy lifting, holding a child, housework, moving around, moving joint, pushing or pulling, putting weight on joint, repetitive motions, sports injury, twisting, standing too long, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, overuse

Treatments: Physical therapy, exercise, range-of-motion,  muscle strengthening, resistance training, stretching, swimming, massage, occupational therapy, cold compress/cold packs, ergonomic improvements, heating pad, hot compress, ice,  assistive devices, brace, neck collar, orthotics, splint, diathermy, electrical stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), traction, ultrasound

Categories: Treatment

Find a PT

It's important to find a physical therapist that you like and trust. You'll be working closely together. Think of a physical therapist as part medical professional and part coach -- he or she will treat your pain while helping to inspire and guide you.

If you want to find a physical therapist, ask your doctor for a referral or call a local hospital or medical center. You can also find a physical therapist in your area on the American Physical Therapy Association web site. 

Prompt: Find a PT.

CTA: Know what to look for.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, pain at night, pain when standing, pain when tilting head, pain when turning head, pain with movement, pain worse in the a.m., all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, base of neck pain, elbow pain, foot pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder blade pain, shoulder pain, spine pain, upper back pain, thigh pain, wrist pain, pinched nerve, tender points, stiff joint, muscle spasms, difficulty moving neck, difficulty standing up, difficulty walking, morning stiffness, neck stiffness, posture problems, reduced joint movement, stiffness, stiffness after rest, numbness, arm numbness, foot numbness, hand numbness, leg numbness, shoulder numbness, thigh numbness, pins and needles, tingling, arm tingling, leg tingling, muscle weakness, muscle loss, weakness

Triggers: carrying or lifting, craning neck, exercising, gardening, heavy lifting, holding a child, housework, moving around, moving joint, pushing or pulling, putting weight on joint, repetitive motions, sports injury, twisting, standing too long, using machinery, injury, workplace injury, inactivity, not exercising, overdoing it, overuse

Treatments: Physical therapy, exercise, range-of-motion,  muscle strengthening, resistance training, stretching, swimming, massage, occupational therapy, cold compress/ cold packs, ergonomic improvements, heating pad, hot compress, ice,  assistive devices, brace, neck collar, orthotics, splint, diathermy, electrical stimulation, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), traction, ultrasound

Categories: Treatment

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Ross Brakeville, DPT on January 27, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Physical Therapy Association: "Move Forward."

St. Francis Health: "Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "What is Passive Physical Therapy?"

The Pain Center of Arizona: "Can Endorphins Ease Chronic Pain?"

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