What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is an treatment program that helps you to improve movement, relieve pain, encourage blood flow for faster healing, and restore your physical function and fitness level. The main aim of physical therapy is to make your daily activities, such as walking, getting in and out of bed, or climbing stairs, easier. It can be prescribed as an individual treatment program for each patient to achieve their goals. Physical therapy is usually ordered to help you recover from surgeries and injuries. It can also be order to help you manage long-term health problems such as arthritis.
A physical therapist will examine your symptoms and daily activities, and make a treatment plan, which primarily focuses on reducing your pain and improving your function . The different procedures used by your therapist depend on your specific physical ailment.
What does Physical Therapy Involve?
Physical therapy involves a combination of education, manual therapy, exercises and techniques. Some of the procedures commonly used are:
- Stretching exercises: Surgery, age and conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, can cause inflammation and stiffness in your joints and muscles, and restrict your movement. Physical Therapist guide you step by step to stretch certain areas of your body to restore flexibility, and enhance the movement of joints and muscles.
- Core strengthening and stability exercises: Specific exercises are designed to make the core (pelvis and lower back) strong enough to support the whole body.
- Ice and heat: Applying heat or cold treatment on muscles can stimulate the blood flow and reduce swelling. Heat treatment helps to reduce joint pain and spasm in the lower back and neck, and loosen muscles. Cooling works best for ankle sprains.
- Movement analysis: The therapist can watch you do the movements that cause pain and work with you to correct body compensations.
- Muscle retraining: Out body’s usually take the path of least resistance and sometimes we develop improve use of muscles. Your physical therapist can help teach you how to use the correct muscles again to decrease pain.
- Manual therapy: Manual therapy is used to mobilize joint as well as loose soft tissue that may be restricting or limiting your movement.
These treatments may cause mild soreness or swelling. Please communicate with you therapist if you have any concerns following treatment.