Whether you have recently started waking up with generalized aches and pains, or suffering from chronic pain for a long time, physical therapy has been proven to be the best possible treatment method for you. A sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, poor nutrition or an injury can all contribute to aches and pains. The bad news is that the pain is probably not going to go away on its own. The good news is that a physical therapist can put you back on the right track and help get rid of those aches and pains.
Sources of Aches and Pains
If you suffer from generalized aches and pains when you wake up in the morning, here is what your physical therapist will tell you. Our bodies build up inflammation in the tissues throughout the day. This can be extremely subtle and you may not notice it, even by the end of the day. But when we lie down and go to sleep, the inflammation can thicken and settle into your muscles. This in turn immobilizes your joints and can lead to aches and pains when you wake up. That same process repeats, day after day.
Eventually, chronic pain can set in if you do not make any lifestyle changes to correct the problem. This is why it is a great idea to contact our office for a consultation, before the pain leads to more serious health problems.
Diagnosing Aches & Pains with a Physical Therapist
Your first visit with a physical therapist will involve a conversation about your symptoms and medical history, as well as some simple tests. Be prepared to answer questions about past injuries that may be contributing to your current aches and pains. Your diet, exercise routine and daily activities will also be discussed. This is to give your therapist an idea of the possible cause or causes of your aches and pains.
You will then be given a series of tests, based on your description of your symptoms. These will involve posture and range of motion exercises, and possibly some strength and resistance tests. When your therapist knows where you are experiencing aches and pains and has determined the likely causes, your personalized physical therapy treatment plan will be drawn up.
Physical Therapy for Aches and Pains
Physical therapy has a wide range of tactics and techniques that can be deployed to help with pain management. Here are just a few:
- Tissue massage
- Joint and bone manipulation
- Movement therapy and exercise
- Cold laser therapy to release endorphins
- Microcurrent stimulation to release serotonin
- Manual therapy
Within each of those categories, your physical therapist has a lot of tools and techniques at their disposal. For example, movement therapy and exercise might mean running on a treadmill, or working in a swimming pool. It all depends on your physical condition, the source of your aches and pains, and the treatment methods that are most likely to meet with results.
Tips for Ongoing Pain Relief
Your physical therapist will also work to educate you on ways to keep aches and pains at bay, by living a healthier lifestyle. This can range from advice on staying hydrated and enjoying better nutrition, to exercises and stretches you can do at home. The goal is to get you to the point where you are motivated to stay healthy without the need for regular physical therapy sessions. All of this will contribute to solving your aches and pains.
If aches and pains are starting to lower your quality of life, it’s time to take that first positive step by calling our office. Contact St. Luke’s & East TN Rehab Center today to schedule your first appointment with a trained and licensed physical therapist.