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The Philosophy of Pain Management

This is a typical scenario: Doctor says,"I think it would be beneficial for you to see the physical therapist here as part of your pain management."

Patient replies,"Doc, I've been through P.T. several times. The last time I did all the exercises they asked me to do. I did them faithfully in their gym for a month. All it did was make me worse. I don't want to go through that again."

Does that sound familiar? Physical Therapy at the Gentle Pain Release Center will be different. The goals are first, to help you to get your pain under control. Then, you will be encouraged to start gradually moving, with your pain under control. And lastly, you will be assisted in maximizing your overall function with your pain under control.

The philosophy and techniques used at the Gentle Pain Release Center ascribe to the philosophy of Myofascial Release(MFR). In MFR the therapist applies gentle, sustained pressure into the fascial system creating what patients report as a feeling of good pain or a good stretch. This technique results in 'releases"of the tight myofascia, relieving pressure on blood vessels, nerves and bony and joint structures, and achieving lasting results.

The patient is taught how to do myofascial stretches using the gentle principles of MFR. Other self-help techniques that help to reduce pain at home are taught to the patient. It is also essential to eliminate 'perpetuating factors'. These are activities, or positions which increase pain. There are many strategies, too lengthy to discuss here, that are helpful in eliminating these perpetuating factors, while allowing the patient to continue to function without an increase in pain. When pain is controlled, the patient begins to gradually increase activities and exercises, while maintaining pain control. Other therapies with a similar philosophy may be utilized or recommended.

It is a very important aspect of the patient's pain management that the patient participate by doing the home program as taught by the P.T., as well as elimination of perpetuating factors. This program may take 1/2 to 1 hr/day or more during the recovery period in order to achieve optimum results. After maximum recovery has been achieved it will be necessary to continue a home program, but it will not be as time consuming.

— Richard Fowler, P.T.


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