You are dreading going to the doctor because you don’t want to spend hours sitting in the waiting room only to be told you have arthritis and that you just have to “live with it” as you are handed a prescription for pills. I’m here to tell you that there is something you can do to get out of pain, and it does not involve medications at all.
You see, pain is actually a signal that there is an imbalance in your body. And you might just be surprised to learn that this imbalance is the actual cause of your pain and even the arthritis too. But the good news is the right kind of physical therapy can, and usually does, correct the underlying imbalances that are causing your pain, making it disappear for good.
Are we magically removing your arthritis? Absolutely not. But by correcting the underlying dysfunctions, we bring the body back into balance, which allows your body to be pain free, despite your x-ray and MRI results.
The goal of physical therapy is to find those imbalances that are causing your pain, and then simply correct them. First, we release muscular, joint, and fascial restrictions in the body with hands on techniques such as massage, manual stretching, myofascial release, Strain-Counterstrain, Pain Neutralization Technique, Active Release Technique, and many more.
Some manual techniques can actually permanently “turn off” painful trigger points in seconds and get you out of pain in just one session.
However, to fully correct the whole imbalance there needs to be some corrective movements such as stretching, strengthening, and postural correction, which takes more sessions and active exercises from the patient.
What to look for in a good physical therapy center:
• Look for a Physical Therapist (PT) with knowledge in the previously mentioned techniques. You can search for a Strain-Counterstrain practitioner in your zipcode online.
• Make sure your PT treats patients on a one-to-one basis. This ensures they will have time to use those hands-on techniques on you to quickly eliminate your pain.
• Steer away from a PT who just uses a lot of modalities. Though it may feel good at the time, hot packs, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound are not going to change the mechanical imbalances that are causing your pain.
• Ensure you will have the same therapist every time to ensure continuity and quality of care. Try not to switch around to different therapists and certainly do not let your session be run by a tech, an aide, a student, or a volunteer.
• A Pilates-based rehab center provides you with a long term solution to ensure you optimize your spinal alignment and posture which is the key to keeping away those pesky imbalances that gave you pain to begin with, plus it takes the “guessing” out of traditional Home Exercise Programs and ensures safety.
The bottom line is that a good PT with advanced hands-on skills and time to use them during your session should make positive changes to your physical condition in as little as just one session. Pain is always a sign that there is an imbalance and the key is to find a good PT to correct the imbalance as soon as possible.
Typically, the sooner you see a PT after the pain began the faster the pain will go away. Since PT’s have Direct Access in Florida, you can see a PT without having a doctor’s prescription. That ensures getting to the root cause of your pain as quickly as possible, as opposed to waiting a month to see a doctor while the pain continues to get worse. Please note some insurance companies require a prescription from your doctor to cover the PT sessions.
But if you get better in two to five sessions of PT, you may be better off just getting the treatment done as soon as possible, even if you have to pay out of your pocket. The sooner you get treatment, the faster you get better. I hope this empowers you to take charge of your body and seek the best care.
Michele Gust has over 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist and is also a Pilates Instructor, Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, and owner of South Miami Physical Therapy & Pilates, 9028 SW 152 St. in Palmetto Bay, FL 33157. Check out the testimonials at www.SouthMiamiPTPilates.com. Call 305-661-1612 to schedule your free consultation with Michele.