5 Benefits to Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can benefit anyone who is recovering from surgery, healing from an old injury or experiencing aches and pains from the rigor of daily life. Other reasons to visit a physical therapist could include balance issues, pain management or help with breathing problems, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or decreased mobility.

A complete physical therapy program can help patients return to normal or better function than they were and it can often be the first line of defense in pain management or injury prevention. A trained physical therapist will evaluate and develop an individualized treatment plan that will greatly improve a patient’s pain level and mobility.

Here are five benefits to physical therapy; this list does not cover all benefits, but consult with your doctor to find out if physical therapy may be right for your own situation.

1. Reduce Pain

Whether its chronic pain or pain stemming from an injury, physical therapy can not only help you manage that pain, but also find the source. The source of the pain might not be where you hurt, and a physical therapist is trained to know the difference and treat accordingly. Your physical therapy program may include hands-on manual therapy, low-impact aerobic exercises, strengthening and conditioning and gentle stretching. Other pain management techniques include ultrasound therapy, taping, electrical stimulation and hot/cold therapy.

Physical therapy will also help you manage pain long-term. Your therapist will give you exercises you can do at home long after your program is complete

2. Recover from Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery you have had, your doctor may refer you to physical therapy. Physical therapy is a vital part of the healing process and only a trained physical therapist can make sure that you are healing properly and regain core functionality of where you had surgery. Recovering from surgery is no small feat, and physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts who are trained in helping you feel better and function to your fullest ability.

Physical therapy can also help minimize scar tissue and retrain muscles. Your program is customized to your physical activity level and whether its gardening, walking or running a marathon, following a physical therapy program can help you recover from surgery faster and get you back to doing the things you enjoy

3. Regain Mobility

If you are waking up stiff in the morning, have back, leg or neck pain, or just general decreased mobility from aging such as arthritis or osteoporosis, physical therapy can address these issues and help you move better. By developing an individualized physical therapy plan, your therapist will work with you one-on-one to regain mobility in your daily life. If necessary, physical therapists can also fit you for an assisted device like a cane, crutches or prescribed orthotics. Strengthening and conditioning techniques will help you feel better and have the confidence to continue a physical therapy regimen at home for optimal movement.

4. Manage lymphedema, dizziness, women’s health issues and other conditions

Physical therapists can help educate patients with certain conditions on how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Physical therapy can also provide treatment for pregnancy and post-partum issues such as pelvic pain and urinary incontinence. Fibromyalgia, lymphedema and other specialized conditions can also be improved through physical therapy. Therapists are specially trained in vestibular disorders and vertigo. Talking to your doctor is the first step in finding the right treatment plan for you.

5. Heal from injuries or prevent future injuries

The most common sports and non-sports injuries includes sprains, fractures, splints and swollen joints or muscles. Physical therapists can help patients recover from old injuries by developing the appropriate program to heal safely and prevent future injuries when returning to an activity. People of all ages and all walks of life can benefit from physical therapy by being active participants in their recovery and healing. By learning how your own body’s biomechanics work, you can move better within a sport or throughout your daily life.

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