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Types of Physical Therapy That Reduce Inflammation

Types of Physical Therapy That Reduce Inflammation

Pain and inflammation can occur throughout your body due to an acute injury or a chronic condition. You might be dealing with inflammation from a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia or a degenerative condition, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

At South Texas Spinal Clinic, our team of expert providers develop customized treatment plans to free you from symptoms of pain and inflammation. In addition to other pain management techniques, we often recommend physical therapy to our patients from the San Antonio and South Texas area.

How physical therapy can help with pain and inflammation

When you’re in pain, especially inflammatory joint pain, physical activity sounds like the last thing you’d want to do. However, controlled stretches and exercises in a therapeutic plan may significantly improve your overall condition.

Physical therapy can be beneficial to patients with any type of neuropathic or chronic musculoskeletal pain. Physical therapy exercises and stretches build muscle strength, increase joint flexibility, and maintain normal physical function. Physical therapy also releases tension, reduces stiffness, and decreases inflammation.

Types of physical therapy to address inflammation

The South Texas Spinal Clinic team uses a range of physical therapy modalities. Depending on your diagnosis and condition, you could benefit from these types of physical therapy treatment.

Heat or cold therapy

We can increase blood flow to areas of your body affected by inflammation with heat therapy, helping your connective tissues stay flexible. Heat therapy gives you temporary relief from joint pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms, and can prevent fluid from building in your tissues, known as edema. Patients with arthritis are often good candidates for heat therapy.

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy or icing, numbs tissues and reduces inflammation and pain due to muscle spasms or injuries.

Electrical or ultrasound stimulation

Some types of electrical stimulation therapy can address inflammation. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device overrides pain signals with safe, low-intensity electrical energy, giving you relief. Regularly using a TENS unit can trigger the release of endorphins in your brain, and has been shown in studies to relieve pain caused by inflammation.

Ultrasound offers another noninvasive form of physical therapy that may be able to address your symptoms of pain and inflammation. Mechanical ultrasound therapy applies sound wave pulses to your tissues, causing small gas bubbles within your soft tissues to expand and contract, decreasing your inflammatory response and relieving pain and swelling.

Manual therapy and therapeutic massage

At South Texas Spinal Clinic, we use therapeutic massage to reduce swelling and inflammation, relieving pain by relaxing muscles and tissues. While therapeutic massage won’t work on inflammation due to blood clots, for other types of inflammatory pain, a massage can give you temporary relief and improve your overall condition.

Manual therapy approaches like spine and joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, myofascial trigger point therapy, and myofascial release may also be able to help with your pain by reducing systemic inflammation. These types of manual therapies encourage motion and increase blood flow, effectively addressing inflammation while controlling pain.

The right physical therapy plan for you

At South Texas Spinal Clinic, we start by evaluating your condition, learning more about the causes of your pain and inflammation, and noting any limitations your physical therapy treatment plan should take into account.

To learn more about the physical therapy treatments that could help with your inflammation and pain symptoms, get in touch with the team at South Texas Spinal Clinic today. Schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone, or request an appointment online now.

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