Pain management without the drugs


Arthritis of the knee is a common complaint for a lot of folks.  One way to reduce the pain is something called joint mobilization.

"The two bones of the knee are not in touch with each other," says Nina, a physical therapist with American Senior Communities. "So I sort of open up the space gently. And then I move the bones. That way if there is a misalignment or any kind of restriction inside, it releases it and the patient will have a better range of motion." 

Therapists at ASC use a number of pain management techniques in conjunction with  physical therapy.  One is called IFC or interferential current therapy. This modality uses an electrical current.  It works deeply on  nerve fibers by blocking pain signals. 

"The "c" fibers are the ones that take the pain sensation. So what it does is basically block the "c" fibers and it doesn't let the pain sensation reach the brain.  So it blocks it right there," says Nina. Ultrasound has been around for a long time. Sound waves are emitted through a metal wand and reportedly reach the cellular level.  

 "If someone has swelling or stiffness, a stiff muscle," says Nina, " Or even a spastic muscle, it has reduced blood flow. What ultrasound does is increase the diffusion of the tissue."

One pain management technique involves taping an area which has been injured. It's called Kinesio Tape and it was first developed in Japan.  Some of the tape can be heat activated and it can do several things.

"Pain is number one," says Nina. "it also prevents injury. So somebody who had surgery who has weak muscles, I would apply Kinesio Tape for support.' A substance called Rock Salt is sometimes used in conjunction with Kinesio Tape.

For more information on non-invasive pain management techniques, click on the link below.

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