Physical Therapy in the Management of Chronic Pain

Physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to opioid or narcotic medications for management of pain. The question which is often asked is why patients need to go to physical therapy, especially when even the simplest of movements and tasks often causes pain for them. What is the role of physical therapy in treating chronic pain?

Chronic pain patients usually avoid activities that cause pain, which leads to inactivity. In turn, this causes the body to become deconditioned and have reduced strength, range of motion, and endurance. In addition, this also causes the patient to have an unhealthy lifestyle. These changes in turn cause more pain because the body’s weakness and stiffness add stress to the body’s painful areas. Patients also become more susceptible to injury because of weakness.


Physical therapy tackles these problem areas with different modalities to help the body regain strength and conditioning to better handle movement with less stress and thus less pain. It treats pain through exercise, hands-on modalities, and patient education. Physical exercises help strengthen and stretch the body, while manipulation and massage help to ease tightness and help produce pain-relieving chemicals. Patient education promotes confidence and healthy lifestyle for the patient to be able to make changes for the better. The use of other modalities such as hot packs, ultrasound, ice pack, and TENS unit also help in reducing pain.

At Metro Spine, physical therapy is one of the treatment modalities offered, and is usually recommended, for patients who are in pain. If you are interested in doing physical therapy with Metro Spine, please call the office at (301) 856-5860.

Recommended Posts