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Benefits of Orthopedic Physical Therapy in Managing Chronic Pain

What is Orthopedic Physical Therapy?

Orthopedic physical therapy is a form of treatment focused on helping patients recover from a musculoskeletal injury, manage pain, restore range of motion and prevent future injuries.

What is the Difference Between Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy?

When you’re looking for treatment, knowing which therapist to choose be tricky, especially with confusing titles, such as orthopedic physical therapy and occupational therapy (OT). While both play an important role in helping patients recover (and often work side-by-side), they have different purposes.

Occupational therapy focuses on improving a patient’s ability to perform ADL (activities of daily living). An OT will work with patients to redesign day-to-day tasks that may have become difficult such as dressing, grooming cooking, etc.

Orthopedic physical therapy (PT), on the other hand, focuses on treating the patient’s injury, decrease pain and improving his or her ability to move. Through a variety of techniques, including exercises, hands-on treatment, ultrasound etc. a PT will help patients recover from their condition while working to prevent future injuries.

Who Can Benefit from Orthopedic Physical Therapy?

If you have recently had orthopedic surgery or suffered from an injury or illness that affects your joints, bones, muscles, tendons or ligaments, you can benefit from orthopedic physical therapy treatment for safe pain management and recovery.  

Most sport injuries also fall into the orthopedic physical therapy category.  Common conditions include sprains and strains, ligament and muscle tears, arthritis and inflammation, joint pain or stiffness, ACL or rotator cuff repair, and post-surgical rehabilitation.

Managing Pain Safely with Orthopedic Physical Therapy

In the face of the ongoing national public health epidemic regarding opioid overuse for the treatment of chronic pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines that recommend alternative approaches. The 2016 “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain – United States, 2016” recommends orthopedic physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to prescription medications.

According to the APTA, “The treatment of pain, particularly chronic pain, often requires an integrated, multidisciplinary approach due to the many variables that may contribute to a patient’s perception of pain and response to treatment. The CDC’s recommendations point to ‘high-quality evidence’ that treatments provided by physical therapists (PTs) are especially effective at reducing pain and improving function in cases of low back pain, fibromyalgia, and hip and knee osteoarthritis. Additionally, a number of studies show the efficacy of physical therapist interventions in preventing, minimizing, and, in some cases, eliminating pain in patients post-surgery, in patients with cancer, and in other clinical scenarios.”

Through hands-on treatment, education and exercise, orthopedic physical therapy can be a preferred option for treating pain and helping patients obtain a higher level of physical performance. In response, the American Physical Therapy Association launched a national campaign, #ChoosePT, to raise awareness about the risks of opioids and the safer alternative of physical therapy for long-term pain management:

“Physical therapists treat pain through movement, hands-on care, and patient education—and by increasing physical activity you can also reduce your risk of other chronic diseases. Pain is personal, but treating pain takes teamwork. When it comes to your health, you have a choice. Choose more movement and better health. Choose physical therapy!

Finding an Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinic in NJ

How do you know if you’ve found a reliable orthopedic physical therapy clinic that can treat your condition and help you manage pain safely? The best way to find out is to call and ask!

At each of the 23 Twin Boro Physical Therapy locations, our orthopedic physical therapists are experienced in evaluation, treatment and management of orthopedic conditions and pain utilizing our unique One2Four method. No matter where you fall on along your health continuum – from disability to athletic performance, all physical therapy treatments are completely individualized to achieve the goals of each patient. Treatment can include hands-on manual therapy, joint mobilization and stretching, exercises, hot and cold treatment, ultrasound and/or electrical muscle stimulation.

Read more on our blog:

Why Choose Twin Boro Physical Therapy

Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 38 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques are incorporated into effective evidence-based practice. We deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of

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