What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy or physiotherapy is a form of body manipulation which includes performing specific exercises and body manipulation techniques performed by a physical therapist. The aim is the attempt to develop, maintain and restore a patient’s ability to function normally, regain maximum movement, and reduce pain. There are many reasons why a patient may be referred to a physiotherapist, for example, they may have had a sports injury, or suffered a stroke that has partially disabled them, for instance.
What does a Physical Therapist do?
A physical therapist will evaluate the severity of the injury that they see and create a programme of physical therapy in order to help the patient recover. This may include hands-on treatment like a massage or other form of body manipulation methods, and they generally give the patient a list of exercises to perform to strengthen the muscles and work the joints to loosen the area where the patient is tight.
When someone is suffering a lot of pain and also find it difficult to move, they may be suffering from some psychological and emotional problems. Having a constant ache and pain will wear someone down over time, so it is essential that a physical therapist be aware of these issues. If the injury is very severe, the physical therapist may refer the patient back to the doctor or a specialist.
Conditions Physical Therapy can help with?
There are a wide variety of conditions that a physical therapist can help with. Often, due to the number of illnesses and conditions treatable through physical therapy, a therapist will specialize in a particular area to offer better support.
Here are a few of the conditions that can be relieved by seeking physical therapy as a treatment:
- The first most obvious one is that physical therapy can help relieve the aches and pains associated with a sports-related injury such as a twisted or badly sprained ankle and tennis elbow.
- A physiotherapist can help concussion, or other head injuries too.
- It is not just sports injuries they can help relieve, they can help with any sort of injury, a slip, trip or fall, for example. This is especially helpful to older people.
- If you suffered some kind of hip injury.
- They help with recovery after a hip or knee replacement.
- They can relieve hand injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome.
- They can offer a program of recovery for any musculoskeletal problems. A common one is when a patient presents with chronic back pain, and any other joint disorder.
- They are able to help a patient with breathing and lung conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis.
- They help with many neurological conditions. These include the ongoing recovery of a patient after suffering from a stroke or the ongoing care of someone with Parkinson’s disease, etc.
- They will provide care for patients with spinal cord problems.
- They are able to help children grow properly if they present with developmental problems such as muscular dystrophy
- They help women recover after a hard birth
- They will also provide care for other women’s issues, including pelvic floor dysfunction.
- In some cases, they are able to help with burns, wounds, and diabetic ulcers.
What are the benefits of going through a course of Physical Therapy?
Depending on the severity of the condition and the mental and emotional side effects that go along with it, the benefits of physical therapy can be exponential. The benefits are obviously maximized if the patient is able to do their exercises every day and build up strength in the muscles that need it. However, here is a list of benefits:
- Helping an athlete get back on track faster.
- Increased recovery rates after an injury.
- Reducing the need for a patient to need pain medication
- Helping the patient manage pain better and reduce it.
- A good physical therapist will help the patient avoid unnecessary surgery
- The patient will be able to move more easily.
- Improved movement in joint.
- Helping a patient recover from a physical trauma, such as a heavy fall.
- Increasing the patient’s ability to recover from a neurological problem such as a stroke or paralysis.
- The patient will be able to keep balance more easily, and this will help prevent further falls.
If you are suffering from any kind of mobility issue, or pain or achy joints and you have not sought the advice of a physical therapist, you should do so. With so many conditions that they can relieve it is impossible to know how they can help you until you see one.