PHYSICAL THERAPY

Physical Therapy is far too extensive a subject to go into in great detail. It has proven to be the most important factor in long term improvement in quality of life for people with chronic intractable pain disorders. There are numerous modes of Physical Therapy and understanding the underlying diagnosis is essential for the proper approach to be developed.

In general it is best to approach Chronic Pain patients with a plan of strengthening, conditioning, stretching and learning neutral position. Passive modalities may be useful in the initial stages of Physical Therapy or as a part of ongoing therapy, but in general, more active PT is the best approach. This must be paced and customized to the individual patient. The ultimate goal of Physical Therapy should be that of moving the patient to a more self directed program of routine exercises to help keep pain under reasonable control. Pain disorders tend to condition patients to passivity and a regular Physical Therapy routine can help to discourage this type of lifestyle.

Physical Therapy can also be used to evaluate the progress of patients with painful disorders. A particular type of Physical Therapy, known as a Functional Capacity Evaluation can give a more accurate assessment of the patient's work capacity, than a single evaluation in a physician's office.