Physical therapy is an important form of physical medicine and rehabilitation that addresses health concerns and impairments to promote improved function and mobility. Also known as physiotherapy, the goal of this intervention is addressing injuries or illnesses that limit a person’s ability to perform functional activities or move. Successful physical therapy uses a person’s physical exam, history, and diagnosis to establish a personalized management plan.
Physical therapy can teach you how to manage or prevent your condition for long-term health benefits. Along with helping people recover from injuries and illnesses, physical therapists also work with people to prevent loss of mobility and function before it occurs. After an initial evaluation, a treatment plan will be developed that may include therapeutic exercises, education on managing symptoms, manual therapy, chiropractic care, and therapeutic treatments like ultrasound therapy, traction, and ice.
Chiropractic care and physical therapy often go together. Chiropractic adjustments may be a part of a physical therapy treatment plan and many patients see a chiropractor after physical therapy for continued adjustments.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can help patients prevent, manage, and recover from a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. In many cases, primary care doctors refer patients for physical therapy when there are signs of a problem because it is a conservative approach to managing health issues. Here are some ways in which you may benefit from physical therapy.
- Improve mobility. Physical therapy is an effective form of therapy to help you regain or improve your ability to walk, stand, and move through strengthening exercises and stretching.
- Recover from and prevent sports injuries. Physical therapists understand how various sports can increase the risk of specific injuries, such as stress fractures and sprains. A physical therapist can design a recovery or injury prevention program to help you stay off the sidelines.
- Improve balance to reduce the risk of falls. Older adults are at an increased risk of falling. Physical therapy can focus on safe exercises that carefully challenge your balance to mimic real-life situations and improve coordination with assistive devices.
- Manage vascular conditions and diabetes. An important part of diabetes management is controlling your blood sugar. A physical therapist can create an exercise regimen to manage diabetes and offer assistance with foot care.
- Reduce pain. One of the most important benefits of physical therapist is the fact that therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques like ultrasound therapy and joint mobilization can relieve pain and restore function to muscles and joints.
- Avoid surgery. A common goal of physical therapy is reducing pain, helping an injury heal, and restoring function to help patients avoid surgery. If surgery is required, patients can benefit from pre-surgery physiotherapy to help them get stronger and recover faster.
Types of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy has many sub-specialties geared toward specific goals and illnesses or injuries. The following are the main types of physical therapy.
Orthopedic physiotherapy is used to treat injuries to the bones, muscles, and other tissues. This type of physical therapy often benefits people who have been injured playing sports or during work as well as people who have injuries due to surgery or chronic disease. Orthopedic surgery usually involves manual therapy to improve range of motion, exercises, and other techniques that relieve pain and improve mobility.
Pediatric physical therapy is geared toward children, who have very different physical therapy needs than adults. Pediatric therapists work with children who have issues with strength, coordination, or movement with customized treatments that improve control, dexterity, and strength.
This type of therapy focuses on giving the body enough oxygen and blood to heal wounds. Many patients who turn to wound care have chronic wounds or wounds that are not healing properly after surgery. This type of physical therapy uses electrical stimulation therapy and manual techniques to improve circulation as well as wound cleaning and compression techniques.
This form of physical therapy is designed to help patients strengthen their cardiovascular system, usually following a serious cardiopulmonary event like a heart attack. Therapists help patients slowly increase their strength and stamina through a personalized exercise program.
Neurological Physical Therapy
Neurological physiotherapy focuses on neurological impairments and conditions like brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, and Parkinson’s disease. A specialized treatment plan is designed to help the patient achieve the highest possible level of autonomous function for independent living.
Schedule an Appointment
Physical therapy can help people of all ages and levels of health enjoy a greater quality of life through targeted, personalized treatment plans that may include anything from ultrasound therapy and chiropractic adjustments to exercise and stretches. Contact our office today to learn more about how you may benefit from a personalized physical therapy program and to set up an appointment.