How Physiotherapists Treat PainJanuary 3, 2020
If you have an injury, you may be wondering what your options are for treating it appropriately. Your injury may be one that a physical therapist can help you manage.
What Is A Physical Therapist?
A physical therapist is a healthcare professional in the field of physical therapy, who assists people to restore, maintain and maximize their strength, function, movement, and overall well-being. In short, physical therapists study the science of movement.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a physical therapist is a trained and licensed medical professional with experience in diagnosing physical abnormalities, restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining physical function, and promoting physical activity and proper function.’
Physical therapists use techniques outside of movements with their hands. This can include manual therapy, acupuncture, electrical therapies, and ultrasound. When you book an appointment with a physical therapist, they will treat your pain using a range of manipulation and massage techniques, electrical therapies and exercises. This toolkit of techniques complement one another to heal and restore movement in the body.
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
Physical therapy helps restore the range of movement and improve the quality of life in patients who have been affected by injury or illness. It is a comprehensive combination of therapies, including manual therapy, rehabilitation, and patient education.
Physical therapists are knowledgeable in guiding you through their comprehensive recovery as well as advising patients on ways to improve their condition on their own. Physical therapy works by examining the patient as a whole rather than as an injury, helping patients help themselves along the road to rehabilitation.
Physical therapy typically involves hands-on treatment, including manual therapy to stretch stiff joints, and therapeutic massage to loosen tight muscles. There may also be machines involved with your treatment. Some types of electrical machines can help address pain or help to stimulate weak muscles. An individualized home exercise program will also be prescribed that may involve a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises.
How Does Physical Therapy Benefit Me?
Everyone is different, and you might have completely different signs and symptoms than your friend. Luckily, a physical therapist is trained to customize a rehabilitation program specifically for you. That includes any other health conditions you might be experiencing, your age, and your activity level.
There are numerous reasons to consider physical therapy as part of your treatment plan, including:
- Pain management with reduced need for opioids
- Avoiding surgery
- Improved mobility and movement
- Recovery from injury or trauma
- Recovery from stroke or paralysis
- Fall prevention
- Improved balance
- Management of age-related medical problems
Physical therapists also treat back pain, neck pain, and sciatica, but they also commonly see patients with arthritis, swelling in joints, repetitive strain injury, sports injuries and cartilage, ligament and tendon damage.
It would be helpful to choose a consistent time of day to do your exercises. Would it be easier for you to perform your exercises in the morning, or before you go to sleep? Physical therapy is most effective when you work with your physical therapist as a team!
How Physical Therapy Helps Prevent Future Injuries
In addition to regaining mobility and function and managing pain, physical therapy also focuses on helping you prevent further complications as you recover.
After an injury or illness, or when you have a physical disability, you may benefit from a variety of methods that help restore movement and improve your quality of life. At Simpson Medical, we provide rehabilitation for issues with muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and bones to help you regain mobility and minimize pain.
Physical therapists focus on both prevention and rehabilitation. Treatment can be for problems caused by injury, disease or disability. Here are some examples:
- Neck and back pain caused by problems in the muscles and skeleton
- Problems in the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments, such as arthritis and the after-effects of amputation
- Lung problems such as asthma
- Disability as a result of heart problems
- Pelvic issues, such as bladder and bowel problems related to childbirth
- Loss of mobility because of trauma to the brain or spine, or due to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
- Fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of muscle strength, for example during cancer treatment, or palliative care
Want to learn more? Contact Simpson Medical today!