Here’s What You Need to Know About Physical Therapy
October 25th, 2017
Physical therapy can be a powerful way of recovering from injury, understanding your body better or simply using it more effectively in sport, exercise, or everyday life. As with most relatively new fields of therapy, there are a number of misconceptions and misunderstandings that surround physical therapy; but the facts are fairly straightforward. Here are a few things you need to know about physical therapy.
First, what is physical therapy?
Simply put, physical therapy is an alternative course of treatment that helps people prevent or heal pain, injuries, and disabilities. It’s often used instead of, or in tandem with, mainstream medical practices like surgery or drugs; and although PT primarily focuses on pain management, muscle function restoration, and healing, it is also used extensively as part of physical fitness training programs.
Why is it important to work with a therapist?
It’s surprising how long people will live with pain that doesn’t come from an immediately identifiable cause. People often brush away recurring pain as something they can manage themselves, and even if they do consider managing that pain physically, it’s easy to believe that physical therapy can be self-taught. However, the importance of working with a physical therapist cannot be stressed enough. For one thing, therapists are professionally qualified and trained to help you manage your pain or heal an injury in a carefully-designed way that doesn’t cause further damage. When you try to be a physical therapist for yourself, you risk injury. Secondly, physical therapists help you trace and understand the root cause of your problem, helping you to treat the real problem and avoid recurrence. And lastly, working with a physical therapist can be beneficial for you because your therapist can help design a tailor-made therapeutic exercise plan that best suits your individual needs.
How does physical therapy benefit you?
Among the many benefits of physical therapy are pain management, improvement in mobility, and muscle strengthening. More specifically, PT can help manage or minimize aches for people who have been suffering chronic pain on account of undetectable causes. And in patients who have temporarily lost mobility due to surgery or accidents, PT can help restore movement and flexibility. Athletes and fitness trainers use physical therapy to help strengthen their body and prevent easy injury.
What does physical therapy involve?
Contrary to popular belief, physical therapy doesn’t only include exercises. While a major segment of PT does deal with exercises that focus on strength, mobility, and pain relief, your physical therapist may also recommend treatments including posture correction and alignment, balance and coordination training, cultivating the right walk, and stress-relieving routines.
Ultimately, each person’s need for physical therapy is unique – no two people will find relief with the exact same routine. A professional therapist evaluates your medical history, delves deeper into the cause of your problem, and only then puts together a routine that can help you to resolve the issue. Being patient and persistent with your routine, and making sure that you diligently keep at it, is how you give yourself a good chance of seeing lasting results.