Your physical and mental health are closely intertwined. When your physical health takes a knock, you may find that you suffer from increased anxiety and depression. Likewise, when your mental health tumbles, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get up off the couch and start exercising. To learn more about the connection between physical and mental health and discover ways to nurture both aspects, get more info by visiting our website.

Breaking the cycle of poor physical and mental health can be tough — but you don’t have to do it alone.

Physical therapists (PTs) can help improve your physical and mental well-being. They can also set you up with exercise programs that are right for you and are trained to remedy physical ailments that cause you pain and anxiety. Let’s dive into how physical therapy and those that study its craft can help you with all facets of your health.

Chronic Pain and Mental Health

Chronic pain can undermine your mental well-being and take the joy out of life’s special moments. Long-term pain can also make exercising challenging as daily tasks easily sap your energy and leave you feeling defeated.

A 2017 study shows that folks who live with chronic pain are more likely to experience conditions like anxiety and depression. Around 35 – 40% of those with chronic pain also live with depression and many report that their condition is “severe.”

The study also found that older folks are at great risk of chronic pain and mental health conditions. This may be due to higher rates of sleep insomnia, substance abuse, migraines, and other mood disorders. 

Physical therapy can mitigate your chronic pain and help you manage your symptoms. PTs can’t wave a magic wand to make your pain disappear entirely, but they can help ease tight muscles, adjust vertebrae, and suggest strengthening exercises.

Simple changes to your long-term physical health can have a profound, positive effect on your mental well-being. Being able to fold laundry and play with your kids without experiencing pain adds to your quality of life and makes the difficult moments easier to bear.

PTs are also trained to listen to your complaints and are patient and understanding. While this isn’t a replacement for mental health therapy, being able to tell someone that you’re in pain can provide a much-needed cathartic release. 

Stress

Stress can exacerbate existing health conditions and weaken your body’s response to illnesses and diseases. Stress can also undermine your mental health, and lead to fatigue, insomnia, and higher rates of anxiety or depression.

Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from work-related stress. Work-related stress usually flares up when you feel overwhelmed due to a burdensome work schedule or unrealistic deadlines.  You may experience symptoms like:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle strain
  • Stomach problems

Alone, these symptoms can be debilitating. However, things get even worse if you’re unable to exercise and blow off some steam.

A trained physical therapist can help you manage your stress by offering access to therapeutic services like massage and yoga. Light, therapeutic exercise can release feel-good hormones that relieve your work-related stress.

Physical therapists can also identify stress-inducing events in your life and offer lifestyle changes. Even small changes, like improving your posture, can help you sleep, alleviate pain, and give you more energy throughout the day.

Respiratory Illnesses and Wellbeing

Millions of Americans suffer from respiratory illnesses ranging from the common cold to COVID-19. Respiratory illnesses can undermine your mental health, as you no longer have the energy to complete the tasks you love.

Most respiratory illnesses can be resolved with rest and a trip to your primary care provider. However, some long-term respiratory illnesses require a careful approach toward recovery.

Physiotherapists can help you overcome respiratory illnesses and get you back to your normal routine. COVID-19-trained PTs use techniques like percussion and manual clearance to clear your airways and improve drainage throughout your respiratory system. Physical therapists can also utilize chest physiotherapy to strengthen your airways and boost breathing efficiency.

Working with a physical therapist to resolve your respiratory illness can alleviate the symptoms of conditions like “long-COVID” while bolstering your mental health. Physical therapists track your progress and help you notice the improvements you’ve made. This can be extremely motivating and help you see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Post-injury Support

Injuries can happen at any point in your life. Whether you’re a healthy 20-something soccer player or an octogenarian, a clumsy fall or a sudden jerk can cause injury and sideline you for a significant period of time.

Many folks fail to appreciate the impact that a serious injury can have on your mental health. Serious injuries can be life-changing and may lead to a loss of work, personal autonomy, and self-worth.

Physical therapists understand the impact that injuries have on your mental health and are trained to help you see life’s silver linings. A good physical therapist guides the conversation toward the progress you’ve made, rather than the limits you currently experience. They’ll make you feel valued during your sessions and give you tips to avoid injury in the future.

Physical therapists are usually active participants in sports themselves. This means they have an innate understanding of the frustration you’re feeling and are equally invested in getting you back to the playing field. Sports physical therapists will be able to suggest adaptations to your current training program and will ensure that you’re able to perform at your best when you return to active participation.

Although physical therapy can be life-altering with injuries, including work-related injuries, the costs associated with it aren’t always feasible for many — thus adding to additional mental stress. If your injury forces you to take time off work, a physical therapist can help guide you toward financial support offered to folks who have an injury-related disability. Explore options like:

  • Worker’s compensation;
  • The Jones Act;
  • The Federal Employer’s Liability Act;
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.

These financial aid options are designed to get you the help you need so you can return to work. You can use the compensation you’re owed to find additional treatment beyond physical care, such as a chiropractor near you who can help alleviate your pain and overcome the injuries you’ve sustained.

Conclusion

Physical therapy can alleviate chronic pain, reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses, and help you get you back to peak condition after an injury. Physical therapists are also compassionate, caring professionals who understand the impact that illness and injury have on your mental health. Working with a physical therapist can help you reclaim your autonomy and help you overcome challenges like fatigue, migraines, and sleep-related mental health conditions.

Share.
Leave A Reply