5 Ways to Put the Pain Behind You

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who motivates you to be more active AND can take away all the aches and pains that are preventing you from living life to the fullest? Check out these top five reasons why working with a physical therapist can help you reclaim the healthy, active lifestyle you want and deserve:


1. Identify the hidden factors contributing to your physical dysfunction.

We would all rather fix the problem than mask the symptoms, but sometimes it’s hard to identify the source (or sources) of the problem. Because we take a whole-body approach, our physical therapists can identify when symptoms are actually located much further away from the source than you might have expected.

For example, knee pain could be the result of weak pelvic floor muscles which can affect the alignment of the whole leg during weight bearing. Likewise, pain and tingling in the foot could be due to a nerve compressed anywhere along it’s path from the foot to the lower back.

Common factors often overlooked include scar tissue (no matter how old), range-of-motion limitations outside the painful joint, muscle activation/recruitment/timing issues (regardless of how strong the muscle is), inefficient movement mechanics, and postural imbalances. If factors like these haven’t been addressed, your symptom relief has likely been temporary at best.


2. Have a customized plan tailored to your individual needs.

There are different brands of physical therapy. Not all physical therapy is the same. If you’re being handed a pre-printed exercise sheet the same as the next person, run for the hills! Every manual treatment, exercise, and piece of education you receive from a physical therapist should be individualized to you based on your unique body. Not every technique works for every person and there are a myriad of techniques and skill sets for applying those techniques. Exercises should all be targeted towards your specific goals – sciatica therapy for someone who wants to get back to running is going to look a lot different than therapy for someone who wants to be able to sit without sciatica (and maybe you want to do both!).

After undergoing a thorough examination with one of our physical therapists, you’ll receive an individualized treatment plan to accelerate reaching your goals. This plan relies on your feedback throughout the process which means you get to have an active role in your recovery.


3. Avoid treatments with side effects.

Unlike many medications and invasive procedures, physical therapy services have a very low risk of side effects while remaining highly effective for reducing pain, inflammation, and other impairments related to injury and physical performance. Physical therapy usually requires no downtime and our therapists are more likely to encourage you to keep participating in your usual activities as much as possible.


4. Especially avoid opioids.

The current opioid epidemic in our country suggests we have a pill-popping problem. It might be the easiest way to just get through the day, but at what cost?

Morphine, codeine/Tylenol-3, hydrocodone, and oxycodone can all lead to physical dependence even when used as prescribed. Using them to treat chronic pain can easily lead to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. The second you start taking opioids to avoid withdrawal symptoms, you’re officially addicted. Especially in the case of chronic pain, the CDC recommends utilizing physical therapy first before even considering opioids.


5. Find a therapist you gel with.

Do you want a therapist who’s into sports? Maybe a therapist with experience in both Women’s Health and fitness? Don’t discount all of physical therapy if you don’t mesh well with the first therapist you meet. Not only are there different brands of physical therapy, but within those brands, there are different personalities. We’ve created detailed bios for all of our therapists, outlining their education backgrounds, specialties, and even a Q&A with the therapist themselves.


Click here to get to know our therapists

At Body Gears, our physical therapists are experts in human movement and employ a wide range of drug-free, non-invasive techniques that benefit patients in ways far beyond just symptom management. No matter what you or a loved one is facing, we encourage you to contact one of our six Illinois clinics today.


Written by: Dr. Julia Melanson, PT, DPT

Edited by: April Oury, PT, MSPT, IOC, CFMT, FAAOMPT, Founder




As always, consult with your Licensed Physical Therapist for individualized advice. For those in Illinois, visit your PT immediately without a prescription or referral.

Give us a call at (877) 709-1090 for more information or fill out the contact us form and we will contact you.

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