If you’re experiencing pain, you’re one in 100 million Americans that can probably agree pain is no fun to live with. You likely have good days and bad days with your pain, but did you know physical therapy can help you make the good days better and the bad days less frequent?
At Fremont Therapy Group, we change lives by helping people move better.
“When it comes to physical therapy, it’s about making it possible for people to live and experience life to the fullest,” says Nate Tanner physical therapist at Fremont Therapy Group. “The ability to work, play, and live optimally is at the center of our greatest life experiences.”
Physical therapists treat chronic, as well as episodic, pain by addressing inflammation, strengthening muscles and joints, and helping you learn to move and go about your daily activities in ways that don’t aggravate old injuries or put you at risk of new ones. Physical therapists can also help reset your central nervous system to be less sensitive to pain signals. Let’s take a look at some of the physical therapy treatments that could ease your pain.
Specially trained physical therapists can use dry needling to treat strained and sore muscle tissue. Fine monofilament needles, so small you could fit 16 of them on the tip of a regular needle, are used to penetrate the skin to reach underlying muscular trigger points (tight muscle bands). The needle helps reduce pain by releasing the tight muscle and increasing blood flow. It also stimulates the brain to release endorphins, which is the body’s “homemade” pain medication, improving symptoms quickly with no side effects!
Jeff Alcorn, PT, DPT, “Patients report immediate improvement or relief. Dry needling is a great tool, especially when combined with other physical therapy treatments and exercise. It allows for quick progress, from which to build upon and snowball symptoms in a positive direction”
Cupping (known clinically as Myofascial Decompression or MFD)
With Cupping or MFD, decompression is used to release tight muscle tissue and improve blood flow, allowing for temporary pain relief. This approach is particularly useful in treating overuse injuries such as bursitis, tendonitis, and other sources of muscle pain (back, neck, elbow, shoulder, etc.). It is also beneficial following surgery, to lessen scar tissue and activate muscles that have atrophied.
Cupping involves the use of a pump, along with plastic vacuum cups that are placed on the skin. With the cups in place, the PT guides patients through active movements that improve mobility and encourages muscles that are not performing to their full potential.
“Cupping allows me to address the muscle, nerves, and surrounding tissue simultaneously. The decompression created by the cups reduces pressure in the painful areas and allows tissue to separate and move without restriction, ultimately leading to a better range of motion, more strength, and significantly less pain,” Jackie Clark, PT, DPT.
When experiencing pain, we become reluctant to do certain things for fear the pain will increase. As we limit those movements, they actually can become more difficult, creating a seemingly endless cycle of restricted mobility and pain. Even a little mobility can help break the cycle. With aquatic therapy, the body is submerged to the chest in warm water, making us feel lighter and more mobile. The warmth of the water directly on the skin works as a pain reliever, while the pressure of the water offers resistance that adds challenge to the exercises.
Nick Hastert, PT, DPT explains, “People with chronic pain often feel they have few options for pain relief. Aquatic therapy can help them take the first step toward managing their pain, so they can focus on the source of the pain. At FTG, we’re fortunate to have the only therapy pool in the county. It is inspiring to see patients enjoy their daily activities with more function and less pain.”
Each of our five locations has heated therapy pools. In a soothing, private, and safe environment, you can reap the benefits of aquatic therapy.
“I was nervous to try the pool at first, but the private changing rooms and patience of my physical therapist quickly made me feel at ease. I feel like I get more done in the pool because the water makes moving my knees more comfortable.” – R.P. FTG aquatic therapy patient
Dry needling, cupping, and aquatic therapy are just a few of the tools in the toolbox our therapists can use to help with pain management. These techniques, in conjunction with a comprehensive physical therapy treatment plan, help keep pain from coming back. We’re not here just to quickly relieve your pain and send you on your way, we’re here to empower you to move beyond the pain, become stronger and more mobile…for good!
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about physical therapy options, such as dry needling, cupping, or aquatic therapy call and schedule a free 20-minute consultation today!