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How to Heal Pain With Physical Therapy in Providence RI

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Written By Greg Specht

Physical therapy provides two primary results: it decreases pain and increases movement and mobility.

Approximately 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point. Back pain is a common problem that leads people to physical therapy in Providence, RI. However, people seek physical therapy for all kinds of pain.

Are you ready to find pain relief? Scheduling a consultation for physical therapy is the solution. Keep reading this guide to learn more about physical therapy for pain relief.

Signs You Need Physical Therapy in Providence, RI

Struggling with pain is no way to live. When you wake up every day feeling pain in your muscles, back, or joints, you need help. Most people seek physical therapy in Providence for several reasons:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Joint pain

Back and neck pain occurs from age, trauma, and work. Unfortunately, finding relief is challenging.

A runner in Providence RI who needs to have some physical therapy because he rolled his ankle.

Chronic pain is often the result of a health condition. For example, people with chronic pain might suffer from a nerve or muscle condition. Fibromyalgia is an example of a muscle disorder that causes extreme pain.

Joint pain can affect your knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, or other joints. Coping with joint pain is challenging as it affects the way you move.

Other conditions can also lead to debilitating pain.

Treating pain with physical therapy is a natural solution that offers effective results. So as you read through this list of common pain types, you’ll know if you can benefit from physical therapy.

The bottom line is physical therapy benefits anyone living with pain.

What an Evaluation Includes

Getting an assessment is the first step of physical therapy in Providence, RI. An assessment determines several things:

  • Areas of your body affected by the pain
  • Severity of the pain
  • Restrictions in range of motion
  • Cause of the pain

A physical therapist completes an evidence based functional movement screening during the evaluation. This screening reveals the capacity of a person’s movement restrictions.

For example, consider the restrictions of movement a person has with neck problems. They might have full movement when turning their neck in one direction. However, they might have limited movement to the other side.

Next, a physical therapist will test your strength, balance, and coordination. Additionally, they’ll test your muscle function.

A physical therapist will ask numerous questions about your overall health. Additionally, they’ll analyze your occupation, hobbies, and lifestyle.

The plan they create is comprehensive, including all these factors. This evaluation has several objectives, but the primary objective is to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique issues.

You can expect the evaluation to take at least one hour.

Physical Therapy Techniques

A Providence physical therapy plan consists of techniques designed to decrease pain and improve movement. Here are several techniques a physical therapist might include in your plan, services include:


Exercises are a significant part of therapy. For example, back pain worsens from tight muscles. As a result, back pain sufferers must learn how to exercise their back muscles.

Stretching is one form of exercise that provides relief to back pain. For example, your therapist might have you lift your arms up above your head and reach.


Your therapist won’t ask you to lift 100-lb weights. However, they might incorporate 5-lb weights into your plan. Using small weights builds muscles.

Building and strengthening muscles offers relief for the pain.

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a technique that uses needles to alleviate pressure and pain in tight muscles. The process is not painful, but it provides effective relief for the pain.

Electrical Stimulation

A TENS unit is a device used in many physical therapy plans. This device emits an electrical current into muscles. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

At first, the current feels strange. But the current loosens muscle tightness. It also increases blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, which is a vital aspect of injury healing.

Heat and Ice

Additionally, a physical therapist might use ice, heat, or a combination of both. Ice is effective in reducing inflammation in the body, which causes pain. Heat is effective for soothing pain.

How Long Are Treatments?

You can reap the benefits of physical therapy for your chronic pain, but you’ll experience more relief if you attend every session.

A typical person might need physical therapy for several months. However, some conditions require more therapy than others.

It’s not uncommon for a therapist to recommend physical therapy three times a week for several weeks. Then, after making progress, they might reduce it to weekly meetings.

Your therapist will routinely check your progress through the same techniques used during your assessment. For example, they’ll perform functional movement screenings to look for progress.

They’ll also review your goals. Then, they’ll perform tests to determine if you’ve met these objectives. These tests determine how long you must attend therapy.

Ways to Improve the Results

You have some control over your results and treatment plan length. First, work hard at your therapy sessions. Most people would agree that physical therapy is hard work, but working hard improves your results.

Secondly, perform the at-home exercises your therapist gives you. Again, working hard is what produces results.

Finally, follow the other instructions your therapist gives you. An example of this is applying ice or heat to your muscles daily.

Each instruction your therapist gives specifically addresses your issues. Therefore, following these instructions leads to faster pain relief.

Schedule an Appointment Today

People seek physical therapy in Providence, RI, because it works. Unfortunately, living in pain interferes with life activities. It also steals enjoyment and pleasure from your life.

Are you ready to find the relief you need to live a healthier, better life?

Request an appointment at Specht Physical Therapy in Providence, Rhode Island. We’ll schedule an evaluation and create a treatment plan to help you feel better quickly.