Integrated Patient Care Plan
Dealing with chronic pain may involve working not only with medical doctors but also with specialists in related areas, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or behavioral therapy.
Physical Therapy Methods
Under a doctor’s supervision, the physical therapist treats chronic pain with a number of methods, depending on the patient’s ailment. Some of these methods lead up to exercise therapy and some relieve symptoms.
Often, some trial and error is involved. Ideally, physical therapy enables the patient to begin an integrated plan of flexibility, strength, endurance, and conditioning exercises that reduces disability and increases ability.
As an example, physical therapy for osteoarthritis can include an education in what constitutes good posture. Postural correction can take pressure off arthritic joints and affected muscles. At home, the patient can follow through by making sure he or she has proper back support with furniture and car seats. The patient can make sure he or she has a firm mattress, since a poorly designed mattress that is too soft or too hard can intensify discomfort and pain.