Take a moment to pause and think about who you were five or ten years ago. What kinds of activities did you thrive from doing? Were you a runner? An afternoon gym warrior? Or did you just enjoy going for long evening walks with your dog?
Now, come back to the present moment. Do you still do these things? If not — what is stopping you? Is it within your control?
Sometimes we sustain injuries that cause aching joints, lingering pain, and other lasting negative effects. Maybe your pain is from surgery or another condition! Whatever ailment has been cramping your style is more than likely no match for physical thecal therapy. If you want to get back to doing the activities you once loved but aren’t sure how to get started, call our office today to schedule an appointment with our physical therapist!
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy teaches patients how to achieve life-long health through prevention or management of most movement limitations. Think of a physical therapist as a movement specialist. If there is a physical condition limiting your ability to move, a physical therapist can help figure out how to either relieve or eliminate your problem.
Many people believe that physical therapy is only helpful in the case of recovery after operations. It’s not hard to understand the role physical therapy can play in your recovery after surgery. Once your body has been repaired and the wound has been closed, the next natural step is to visit with a physical therapist to regain the function you once had. What most people don’t realize is that physical therapy’s usefulness goes beyond post-surgical rehabilitation. The amount of issues that a physical therapist can help with is endless!
Problems a physical therapist can help solve
A physical therapist is qualified to treat problems with movement and balance anywhere in the body. These pain problems are generally categorized into three areas, and treatment may differ depending on what kind of condition you’re dealing with.
- Acute injury. A physical therapist can help patients find relief from aches, pains, and balance problems associated with an injury. After car accidents, athletic injuries, or repetitive use injuries where the body’s structures are likely to repair themselves, patients are referred to physical therapy for pain relief, functional help, and future injury prevention.
- Chronic aches and pains. Aging is a natural part of life. Over time, our bodies tend to break down with use, but that doesn’t mean that dealing with pain has to be normalized. Arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, and other chronic aches and pains can all be relieved with physical therapy.
- Pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation. Most people are familiar with the role a physical therapist plays after surgery, but that isn’t the only time their expertise can come in handy! Recent studies have found that pre-surgical physical therapy shortens recovery time in patients who have cancer surgery, heart surgery or total joint replacement surgery.
Physical therapy after surgery can also help you prevent any painful and limiting scar tissue buildup, regain your mobility and balance, increase your flexibility, and strengthen the affected area of your body.
What should I expect with treatment?
A physical therapist begins by assessing your current movement and pain level. They may order imaging studies through x-rays, MRI or ultrasound to get a clear picture of the structures in your problem areas.
They will also put you through functional testing that measures your balance, movement ability, and limitations if there are any.
Next, a physical therapist prescribes your treatment plan. This may include:
- Exercises you can do at home to increase the effectiveness of physical therapy.
- Stretching to relieve pain and increase range of motion.
- Functional exercises to help you increase your strength and flexibility.
- Manual therapies such as massage and ultrasound to reduce pain and inflammation.
Periodically, your physical therapist will evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your treatment plan. The goal is to help you get back to the activities you love as quickly as possible, with the best long-term results possible.
Get back to living a healthy, full life again!
We often don’t realize how much we give up when we are limited by aches, pains, or injuries. Physical therapy can help you to see that there is still a full, fun, exceptional way of life still available to you! Still curious if physical therapy is right for you? Call Direct Physical Therapy today to schedule a consultation and find out how physical therapy can get you back to enjoying your life, doing the things you love.