March 8, 2011
It was disappointing that physical therapy was hardly mentioned in your March 7 Chronic Pain series, even though doctors said that the ideal treatment for chronic pain was a combined approach of physical therapy, medication, and psychological support. Many types of pain can be reduced with the help of a physical therapist, including low back pain and fibromyalgia. In most cases of symptomatic lumbar degenerative disc disease, a common cause of low back pain, the most effective treatment is physical therapy combined with anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy can help a patient with fibromyalgia interpret pain signals and manage and decrease symptoms. In today's challenging economic times, physical therapy can be an effective, affordable, and conservative solution.
R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD
American Physical Therapy Association