At the 2018 American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting, Hannah Nilles, PT, DPT, from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, discussed the role of physical therapy in a multidisciplinary pain management program.
When patients start physical therapy in a multidisciplinary pain management program, their initial reaction is to question how this therapy is going to be different from all the therapy they have had in the past. The PT in these programs is different in the following areas:
- Active instead of passive modalities.
- Graded exposure. Graded exposure to exercise helps desensitize a sensitive nervous system by using the body to teach the brain that movement is safe.
- Individualized treatment. A wide variety of techniques are utilized based on the needs of the individual.
- Laying the foundation. You need to focus on different muscle groups so that you are treating all the different layers of muscles. The goal is to ultimately strengthen the core, which is key.
- Interdisciplinary approach.