Alternative Pain Relief Through Physical Therapy

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Many people suffer from chronic pain due to health conditions such as arthritis and menstrual cramps, while others experience acute pain as a result of injury or surgery. If you’re a pain sufferer, you have plenty of options to ease those pains. While most pain relief medications come in the form of a pill, there are a number of alternative pain relief treatments such as snake oil which is now sold various shapes and sizes.

However, before trying any of these pain relief approaches, always make it a point to consult with your doctor. Some alternative pain relief therapies may not be appropriate for you or may have serious side effects, even if they are of the non-pharmaceutical type. There are factors to be considered including medical condition as well as patient history before undergoing any treatment.

Bear in mind that not all available options are perfect alternative pain relief treatments. While a certain pain relief may work to some people, the same remedy may not work with others. There are some pain relievers that do not provide complete pain relief. You may have to try a number of different strategies and combine some of them before finding an acceptable level of pain relief. As with any treatment, there may also be risks and side effects.

Many people would do anything to find a relief for their pains. One of the advantages of trying out a number of alternative pain relief remedies is that you may find a pain relief treatment that works for you. Penney Cowan, executive director and founder of the American Chronic Pain Association advises pain sufferers to take an active part in their own rehabilitation. People should learn pain management and to know their role in how to regain control of their life in order to live with the pain which seems to have taken over.

While there is no specific cure to pain, physical therapy is very effective alternative pain relief and highly recommended. Hayes Wilson, MD, chief rheumatologist at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta and national medical adviser to the Arthritis Foundation, recommends physical therapy to almost all his patients because it teaches people how to take care of themselves. He believes in the clich√©, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and feed him for life.”
Physical therapists are like fishing instructors who teach patients the self-management skills of pain management. Therapists encourage arthritis patients how to deal with pain in a day-to-day basis by showing them how to build up strength and improve range of motion, and how to make sensible decisions about activities to prevent arthritic flare-ups.

However, keep in mind that physical therapy is not intended to act as an elixir for pain, but rather, as an alternative pain relief treatment. In the case of patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis, which can take 10 to 15 years off a patient’s life, physical therapy serves only as a supplement to immune-modulating drugs. While physical therapy can help decrease inflammation in osteoarthritis, the condition could worsen if swelling isn’t fully addressed with the appropriate medicines.

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