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There are a number of possible remedies to help you manage chronic inflammation, such as changing your diet, managing your weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, getting more sleep, and reducing stress. But one of the best ways to battle chronic inflammation is through exercise (but not too much exercise) and physical therapy.

You may be thinking, “Why would I want physical therapy when my body already hurts?” We get it…but hear us out. Physical therapy can help reduce chronic inflammation by building strength and increasing flexibility. PT also helps with stiffness and reduces tension, which alleviates inflammatory pain. Most of all, physical therapy ensures you stick with your exercise routine or adds a supplemental regimen to your existing exercise plan.

Physical Therapies That Relieve Inflammation

We use a variety of physical therapies at Physical Therapy NOW in Irving that can help with inflammation.

Manual therapy and massage

Therapeutic massage can help reduce inflammation and swelling while relieving pain through relaxed tissues and muscles. While not a long-term solution, therapeutic massage offers much-needed relief. Manual therapy such as soft tissue mobilization and spine and joint mobilization, among other forms, can also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain by facilitating motion and blood flow.

Hot and cold therapy

As you’re probably already aware, applying heat offers relief from pain and stiffness. It does so by increasing blood flow to inflamed areas, which helps keep your tissue flexible. You’re probably familiar with cold therapy as well if you’ve ever iced an injury. Same type of treatment here, as we use cold therapy to numb tissue and relieve inflammation and pain.

Laser therapy

This painless therapy, through the use of lasers, targets inflamed areas and can be quite effective at relieving chronic pain and inflammation for a more extended period of time than some other types of therapy.

Electrical stimulation

If you’ve never used TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy, it’s worth a try. TENS therapy delivers low-voltage electrical currents through the skin (don’t worry…it doesn’t hurt!) to your nerves. There’s some debate among healthcare professionals about what happens next, but either scenario is beneficial.

  1. The electrical current raises the level of endorphins (your body’s natural pain-killing chemicals) in the body, which then triggers your body’s pain-relieving capabilities.
  2. The electrical current stimulates nerve cells that block the transmission of pain signals, changing the way you perceive pain.

Either way, the result is pain relief, which is the idea!

Exercise therapy

Just a small amount of aerobic exercise can do wonders as far as reducing levels of inflammation. Taking a 20- or 30-minute walk each day helps fight obesity, which can exacerbate symptoms of inflammation. Other exercise like swimming, resistance exercise, and yoga has also been shown to help reduce chronic inflammation. Just be careful not to overdo it–too much exercise can actually make the inflammation worse.



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