Pain Can Keep You From The Things You Enjoy – A Physical Therapist Can Help

Ask anyone what it takes to live a long and healthy life, and their response will almost certainly include some variation of diet, exercise, social support, and internal drive. One tricky aspect of these variables is that they are nudged by various forms of positive and negative reinforcements – including pain. Let’s take a look at the role physical therapy can play in minimizing the negative influences and empowering you to engage more fully in positive life experiences.

Being in pain is no fun

The experience of pain is something you may not be able to describe in a way that another human being can fully grasp, however, it is undeniable when you are suffering from pain and its effects. Physical Therapists are especially skilled in evaluating what is causing your pain and how you can return to running again, playing with your grandkids again, performing a clean & jerk without pain again, doing your job again, not being afraid to bend forward again… you get the idea.

The mental fog from pain medications is no fun

Medications may be effective in providing temporary relief. Other times, pain medications simply kick the can of active recovery further down the road. Most of the time medications aren’t enough. Call your physical therapist and ask what they can do for you. Your kidneys will thank you.

Moving is fun!

I often hear patients say something like, “It feels so good to move my elbow again!” There exists a tug-of-war in your nervous system between movement and pain. When movement returns and you return to doing the things you enjoy doing, the sensation of pain loses this tug-of-war. Re-experience the joy of using all those joints, muscles, and good sensations again.

Learning about how your body works is fun!

Our body is an incredibly complex and resilient gift of nature. Getting a glimpse of how it works, as well as what you can do to get it to work a bit smoother is incredibly empowering. We physical therapists are unabashedly passionate about what we do, and teaching you skills to stay healthy is a top priority.

Surgery isn’t always the best option

There’s nothing quite like our original parts; don’t mess with them if you don’t have to. Nature is a pretty smart designer. She endowed us with joints that put up with all our misuse and abuse, yet (given the proper environment) they can heal themselves enough to allow you to keep going. Sometimes the sensation of pain might convince you that surgery is the only option, but the numbers don’t always back that up. A good physical therapist might be able help you dampen the sensation of pain in your back, shoulder, or any other joint low enough so that you can return to doing the things you love to do and need to do. You might not have to spend your summer (or winter) recovering from surgeries.

It’s challenging enough to foster better habits of nutritious eating, exercise, social support, and internal drive when you are limited by the weight of pain. Call your physical therapist and ask what they can do for you. You might be surprised at how good you can feel.

Dr. Jason Boddu, DPT, MTC, Residency-trained CFMT –