ALL ABOUT PHYSICAL THERAPY
So you left your doctor’s office with a physical therapy referral slip. What happens next?
Patients are aware when they are in pain, but many are unaware of when or how physical therapy might help them. Physical therapy seeks to enhance your mobility and strength over time by using guided exercises and information about how your body is supposed to function. This helps to avoid or alleviate injuries and/or disease.
WHAT IS PHYSICAL THERAPY?
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) describes physical therapists are trained and credentialed movement specialists. They can diagnose and treat various injuries, impairments, and illnesses.
Physical therapy is a therapeutic method that aims to enhance or restore mobility while also reducing discomfort and preventing additional injury or impairment. It employs specific exercises, physical modalities (e.g., hot and cold), and massage to return the body to its pre-injury state.
Physical therapists are educated and trained to improve the well-being of their patients through hands-on care, recommended exercise, and adequate patient education.
Physical therapy can be used to address the following conditions:
- Injuries caused by trauma
- Overexertion and repetitive injuries
- Medical conditions or chronic injuries that create pain and functional restrictions.
WHY IS PHYSICAL THERAPY SO IMPORTANT?
When a muscle or joint hurts, you probably take medication, relax, and try some cold or heat methods. You may go to a physician who will refer you to physical therapy, or if the pain persists after basic home remedies, it may be time to seek physical therapy on your own.
Physical therapy, which consists of practical exercises and instruction about how your body operates, offers several advantages. Physical therapists can assist you in reducing chronic pain, recovering from an accident, or improving your performance in your chosen activity.
- Physical therapy can aid in recovery following an injury.
Many injuries or adverse events, such as a stroke or a sports injury, can be helped by physical therapy. A professional can help you decide which muscle groups require attention and offer functional workouts that target these regions. This can help patients gain strength, develop flexibility, attain greater health, and, in some situations, avoid surgery over time.
- Physical therapy might help you avoid aggravating your injury.
Moving incorrectly after an injury may place additional strain on your injured body. A physical therapist will evaluate your injuries and educate you on which actions are typically safe and which may aggravate your discomfort or harm the region more.
- Physical therapy can help with chronic pain.
Whether a patient’s chronic pain is the result of an accident or an illness such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, a physical therapist may assess their condition and develop a strategy to help them manage their pain. In fact, a study of persons with musculoskeletal pain indicated that even one session of physical therapy soon after diagnosis might minimize the number of opioids, highly addictive pain medicines, a person uses. This can potentially prevent drug dependency and result in healthier results.
- Physical therapy can help you improve your mobility and balance.
While many people identify physical therapy with post-traumatic treatment, it can also be used as preventive care. Physical therapy is frequently provided to older adults to assist them in moving around without using walkers or canes, as well as to help them prevent falls, which can result in broken bones and other injuries.
- Physical therapy can help athletes improve their athletic performance.
Physical therapy isn’t simply for addressing injuries; it may also assist people in improving their performance in their chosen activity. A professional will decide which muscles to target and the best workouts to increase your strength and flexibility, allowing you to score more goals or set a new personal record. In addition, regular physical therapy sessions help prepare your muscle groups for the repetitive actions of your sport, lowering your chance of injury.
Physical therapists are educated to recognize biomechanical weaknesses that are causing pain or injury now or might cause pain or injury in the future. A physical therapist can employ various noninvasive treatment strategies to address or prevent mobility difficulties, ranging from therapeutic exercises and manual therapy to newer treatments and modalities.
Education is essential to physical therapy, especially in teaching how to activate your muscles and move your body correctly. This is especially critical if you’re misusing any muscle groups.
WILL PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP YOU?
Physical therapy can assist with the following common injuries and forms of pain:
- Sports injuries, such as ankle sprains and muscle strains
- Work-related injuries, such as back strains and pain
- Age-related conditions, such as arthritis
- Neurological issues, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury
- Diabetes and vascular conditions
- Heart and lung conditions
Physical therapy may help everyone, including those already pain-free. This is because physical therapists can not only assist in repairing an existing injury or pain but they are also trained to recognize and manage minor abnormalities that may lead to pain or damage eventually.
PT LINK Physical Therapy offers modern modalities to treat many chronic pain conditions and diseases, including: