What is the first thing that you do when you feel pain? If heading to the medicine cabinet is your first choice, you’re not alone. For some of us, it wouldn’t even require a second thought. In cases of acute pain, pain medication is not a bad solution. But what about for chronic pain? Chronic pain is considered as any pain from mild, to uncomfortable, to completely debilitating, that lasts for longer than six months. Approximately 100 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain every year. With chronic pain, it’s best to seek a long term pain management solution – which means pain medication might not be the best answer.
The reason pain medication is not an effective solution for chronic pain is because pain meds were designed to be taken, at most, for only 10 consecutive days. Any longer than that and you run the risk of causing problems in your GI tract. Taking medications like Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen, Tylenol, or any other NSAIDs for long periods of time can lead to severe abdominal pain, stomach ulcers, and in extreme cases, internal bleeding.
So, how do you manage chronic pain?
Physical therapy has proven to be a very effective pain management solution. Exercising and physical activity might sound like the exact opposite of what you want to do when you’re in serious pain, but it’s what a lot of pain patients need. When physical therapy is used for pain management, the goal is to help patients regain their strength, as most of them have become weak from not moving for prolonged periods of time.
There are a variety of pain management methods in physical therapy. Treatment plans for chronic pain patients include:
-Joint or bone manipulation
-Manual therapy on soft tissue
Next time that you experience excessive pain for an extended period of time, ditch the pain meds and seek a long term pain management solution like physical therapy. Your body will thank you!
Ready to relieve that pain? Schedule an appointment with Contact Physical Therapy today and be on your way to a pain free life.