When you sustain an acute injury, require post-surgery rehabilitation, or have a chronic condition that affects your physical function, your doctor may recommend physical therapy as a means of helping you restore your mobility and active lifestyle.
Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative care that focuses on treating injuries, both chronic and acute conditions, and movement dysfunction. Since it does not involve medications, injections, or surgery, it is considered a conservative approach to treating many different musculoskeletal problems. Its aim is to help improve and restore mobility, strength, movement, range of motion, overall function, and quality of life. It is also focused on decreasing pain and preventing further injuries using prescribed exercise, manual therapy, targeted techniques, and patient education under the guidance of a specially trained physical therapist (PT).
There are multiple benefits of physical therapy you ought to be aware of, and it helps to know how you can get the most out of your sessions with a licensed therapist.
7 Benefits of Physical Therapy
There are numerous ways in which seeing a physical therapist for pain management, injury rehabilitation, enhanced mobility, and management of chronic conditions are to your advantage. The most significant of these include:
- Rehabilitation from a sports-related injury. The majority of sports injuries do not require surgery. However, to prevent further damage, targeted intervention to decrease pain, strengthen the injured area, and enable you to get back in the game, is required.A PT can design a treatment plan consisting of targeted exercise, massage therapy, aquatic therapy, ultrasound, or cold and heat therapy to strengthen damaged muscles and joints and prevent injury. Or, in the case of a more severe sports injury, it may require the fitting of a brace, cast, or splint and/or physical therapy for rehabilitation.
- Reduction of pain. While some instances of pain require prescribed medication or surgery to improve, other types of pain can benefit from physical therapy and exercise. Acute pain often improves with time, treatment, and healing, but chronic pain, which lasts more than three months, often requires direct intervention. Physical therapy techniques used to reduce both acute and chronic pain include therapeutic exercises, stretching, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, taping, cold and heat therapy, and massage.
- Support for symptoms caused by neurological conditions. A physical therapist can assist in symptom management for patients diagnosed with stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and issues related to a spinal cord injury. Specifically, training can improve one’s gait and walking capacity, as well as coordination, spasticity and flexibility, aerobic endurance, and respiratory function.
- Reduction of arthritis symptoms. Physical therapy can help reduce debilitating symptoms – such as pain, joint inflammation, tenderness, swelling, and stiffness – caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It can help restore the use of affected joints, increase overall strength to help support joints, and enable you to maintain fitness levels.
- Reduction of complications related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, abdominal surgery, or other conditions can cause pelvic floor muscles to weaken and lose their ability to fully support pelvic organs. This can lead to urinary leakage, low back pain, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pressure, and/or prolapse. Fortunately, physical therapy can serve as a first-line treatment to improve or manage most pelvic floor disorders.
- Shortening of post-surgery recovery. Following musculoskeletal surgery, physical therapy can improve your range of motion, reduce pain, prevent excessive scar tissue buildup, and help you regain normal function and return to everyday activities in a shorter period of time.
How to Get the Most Out of Physical Therapy
In order to gain maximum benefits from physical therapy, follow these simple tips:
- Take an active role in your treatment. Choose a PT who best matches your needs and come to your first appointment with any records, diagnostic imaging results, or notes from your healthcare provider.
- Ask questions about your treatment, including what to expect during sessions, treatment duration, and the number of visits per week or month required.
- Follow your PT’s advice and guidance, especially when it comes to refraining from certain activities during treatment. Be patient and don’t rush the process.The more you listen to your PT, the sooner you will recover.
- Be diligent about performing the home workouts your physical therapist recommends.
Physical Therapy in Lakeland, Florida
If your primary care doctor or orthopedist has recommended physical therapy, consider the services offered at Palm Medical Centers located throughout Central and South Florida. Our on-site licensed physical therapists can help treat your chronic pain, increase your range of motion, and strengthen your muscles, so you can enjoy your daily activities again.
To learn more about our physical therapy services, or to schedule an appointment, call Palm Medical Centers today at (833) 500-7256 (PALM) or simply complete our online form to request an appointment.