- Are you trying to figure out why physical therapy is important? Read this article to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy.
Physical therapy is a type of rehabilitation therapy for people with some form of disability caused by injury or illness. Its aim is to maintain and restore peak mobility and functional ability.
Physical therapy treatment offers a safe path to recovery. It enables patients to achieve an improved quality of life and a quite rapid return to their normal activities.
There are plenty of reasons why physical therapy is beneficial. It contributes towards the healing process and ensures that patients do not inadvertently hurt themselves while attempting to get better on their own. Read on to find out how expert knowledge and physical therapy could help you.
What Are Physical Therapists?
Physical Therapists (PT, for short) are licensed health care professionals. They provide physical therapy in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and health agencies. Most physical therapists work in multi-disciplinary health teams.
They also work at fitness facilities and schools where they focus on the development of sports programs and manage sporting injuries as and when they occur.
The American Physical Therapy Association(APTA) represents the interests of physical therapists. The organization promotes the practice and general awareness of physical therapy. Physical therapists pass a national exam to become certified but obtain their license from the state in which they practice.
Why Physical Therapy Should Be Your First Choice
People with chronic pain, people with restricted mobility, and people who have suffered injuries often think surgery would be the most effective way to treat their problem. The first course of action, however, for most primary care doctors is to refer patients to a physical therapist. This is because it often is the less invasive and more effective approach to the problem at hand.
Physical therapy offers benefits that often avoid the need for surgery. Let’s look at a few of its possible advantages as a first choice of treatment.
- Pain Management
Chronic pain, especially when the underlying cause is unknown, can be very frustrating. Physical therapy techniques and therapeutic exercises can help mobilize your joints and soft tissue to:
- Restore muscle function
- Reduce aches or eliminate pain
- Keep pain from returning
Eliminating or managing pain often has the effect of improving the patient’s physical health and can lead to improved mobility. If you are recovering from surgery, physical therapy can help you recover and return to health faster.
Addressing long-term pain issues after surgery should be a priority. Physical therapy presents a safe alternative to prolonged dependence on pain medication. This is why the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends physical therapy in preference to pain medication containing opioids.
- Injury Prevention
Physical therapists assess a patient’s weak areas. Before treatment begins, they formulate a physical therapy plan to strengthen those areas more vulnerable to injury. A physical therapist can tell how likely it would be that a patient would suffer injury based on what areas show muscular or skeletal weakness.
They draw up an exercise regimen to strengthen weak muscle groups and joints. This helps to prevent future injuries in these areas. Many active sportspeople appreciate this type of treatment and the greater awareness of their own bodies that it engenders.
- Improvement in Mobility and Balance
Getting back on your feet after sustaining a serious injury or undergoing major surgery can be difficult on your own. You might experience restricted mobility. Simple activities like writing, eating, or balancing the body can be challenging.
Therapeutic physical exercises help to restore mobility. Your physical therapist will encourage you, and help you to progress from feeling helpless to feeling stronger. A PT ensures that you learn how to walk and move around in a safer way. They teach patients who are at high risk for falls how to improve their coordination and balance.
- General Age-Related Health Issues
Age-related health problems benefit from physical therapy include:
- Joint pains
- Muscle weakness
- Poor circulation and vascular diseases
As a conservative approach for senior patients, physical therapy can offer a less traumatic alternative to joint replacement surgery, for example.
Seniors not recuperating from any particular illness can also enjoy physical therapy as a preventative measure. The advantage is that you will be exercising correctly under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional. This is a sensible and safe approach to prolonged mobility and fitness.
The best place to receive physical therapy from qualified professionals is at a physical therapy clinic. There, you will get the advice and treatment you need – and deserve!
- RecoveringFroma Stroke
Rehabilitation therapy after a stroke is essential. Physical therapy is usually recommended for patients who, as a result of the stroke:
- Have difficulty walking or moving around
- Are unable to walk for six minutes without stopping to rest
- Are unable to complete basic daily chores
Depending on the severity of the stroke, post-stroke rehabilitation can be a long process that requires specialist guidance and supervision.
Physical therapists are skilled at stimulating the patient’s affected muscles and nerves to maintain circulation and prevent stiffness in initial sessions. They will then guide patients through each stage of stroke recovery, and help them to relearn basic muscle movements on the path toward regaining their independence.
Some physical therapists specialize in stroke and other kinds of neurological trauma. Aside from helping patients relearn complex bodily movements, they ensure that they avoid complications that could impede their progress later. By improving their posture, and balance and coordination, patients enjoy a better quality of life better in the medium and long term.
- Maximizing Movement
Arthritis and osteoporosis are two conditions that can be managed through physical therapy. Patients will receive a custom-designed treatment plan for their condition and challenges. A physical therapist will work with the patient to help them achieve their goals.
In the case of arthritis, physical therapy can help you live with less pain and therefore increase your quality of life. Patients with osteoporosis do strength exercises to help to reduce the risk of fractures related to this condition.
- Manage Heart and Lung disease
Physical therapy is effective in improving cardiovascular function. A careful mix of aerobic and weight strengthening exercises often form part of a cardiac and lung rehabilitation program after a heart attack.
Physical therapy helps improve blood circulation. It is also of benefit to diabetics since exercise helps to stabilize one’s blood pressure.
- Treating Athletes’ Sports Injuries
All professional sportspeople have a physical therapist on standby to treat injuries straight away. Rehabilitation from sports injuries is essential for rapid recovery. More crucial, though, is ensuring sustained recovery from incidental injuries that do not diminish the performance of high-achieving sportspeople.
Physical therapy is important for competitive athletes because they need rapid recovery so that their general level of fitness and endurance does not suffer during recuperation.
Physical therapy for uninjured athletes can help them improve performance by pinpointing their weak areas and focusing on strengthening them by following a planned program of activity incorporated into their training.
Physical Therapy Is Good for Everyone
Why physical therapy is so important is because it is a helpful intervention for a wide range of patients. The range extends way beyond injured athletes, people with age-related diseases, and people needing post-operative rehabilitation.
Children with physical development challenges, and people with mobility difficulties experience positive changes in their health and their lives as a result of physical therapy.
We’ve got a load of articles on health and fitness on our site that cater to all sorts of people. Why don’t you read a few to get spurred into action?