Part of the human body’s natural response to an illness or injury, inflammation is associated with symptoms like redness, swelling, pain, and warmth.
If a joint is affected, mobility may be limited. Fortunately, physical therapy can offer an effective, drug-free way to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is associated with a multitude of health problems, including musculoskeletal injuries, autoimmune conditions, arthritis and several chronic pain conditions.
When the body detects damage, white blood cells release chemicals in the affected area to increase blood flow and promote healing.
The additional blood flow often results in redness or warmth, and swelling will occur if the inflammatory chemicals cause fluid to accumulate.
These actions can excite nerves, triggering pain.
Inflammation is a result of the body’s attempt to heal itself, and in most cases, it is a response to something harmful to a person’s health.
However, this response can go awry and result in inflammation that is excessively persistent or that negatively impacts a healthy part of the body.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapists have several techniques that can be effective in the effort to reduce inflammation, and the ones selected for a patient’s treatment plan depend on the condition that is causing the inflammatory response and the area that is impacted.
Possible treatments include:
- Exercise. Carefully selected therapeutic exercises can reduce swelling, decrease pain, and improve strength and function.
- Massage therapy. Massage and other manual therapies combat inflammation by reducing pain and encouraging proper function.
- Icing. Ice is widely known for its ability to reduce swelling. By doing so, this cold therapy promotes better mobility and may even increase the effectiveness of other physical therapy modalities.
- Laser therapy. Laser therapy harnesses specific wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation, pain and muscle fatigue.
Although it is a natural part of the body’s healing process, inflammation can be uncomfortable and limiting.
Make an appointment today if you’re experiencing inflammation and you’re interested in learning how physical therapy can help your situation.