What Exactly is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a medical science that specializes in helping a body relieve from pain, heal from injury, perform better in work/play/leisure. Pain relief is achieved with all natural means that involves no side-effects or drugs. Physical Therapy is considered a conservative treatment method addressing the treatment, healing, and prevention of injuries and disabilities. Physical Therapy focuses primarily, but not solely, on pain relief, promoting healing, and restoring function and movement associated with injury. Other areas within Physical Therapy are ergonomic (body mechanics) training, fitness/wellness, and, especially, education and prevention.
How long is it going to take?
Each person that comes into our office is unique and, therefore, rates of healing are also unique. The physical therapist can usually get an idea of your progress within two weeks. Please keep in mind that although rehabilitation takes time, it also took time for an injury to progress to its present state of discomfort.
What will I expect during a Physical Therapy treatment?
Physical Therapy generally encompasses assistance in pain management such as: hands on therapy, traction, strength and flexibility training, regaining range of motion, improving and correcting posture, endurance training, balance and coordination training, proper walking, education, and safety awareness. Stephanie will work with patients to develop and implement a home exercise program within their treatment. Physical Therapy will work to restore function, improve mobility, and educate patients on how to maintain and promote overall physical fitness and health. Considering everyone is different, each physical therapy experience and program is different. Be patient with yourself, your Physical Therapist, and your Physician. Healing takes time, diligence, and compliance.
Procedures for physical therapy are such as the following:
- Pressure-Point Release
In this procedure the therapist or clinical assistant searches for muscles that are actively in spasm or causing pain. They then push on the muscle for 1-2 minutes. Initially it will cause soreness but should diminish steadily. This helps to normalize the muscles and improve circulation in that area.
- Soft-Tissue Mobilization
The application of movement and force to muscles, ligaments, nerves or other soft-tissue for the purpose of promoting healing and normalization. Can be used to reduce pain. Sometimes discomfort may accompany the procedure.
- Joint Mobilization
The application of movement and force to a joint for the purpose of increasing motion and range. Can be used to reduce pain. Sometimes discomfort may accompany the procedure.
- Kinetic Activity
- Therapeutic Exercises
Strengthening and balancing the muscles around your joints are essential for good movement, stability and pain relief. Physical therapists are the leading experts in helping thosewith pain, arthritis, obesity, diabetes and heart disease get fit and strong safely.
There are many specialties within the physical therapy profession. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sports Medicine
- Women’s Health
- Industrial/Work Hardening
- Ergonomics & Injury Prevention
- Strength & Conditioning
- Oncology Rehab
- Certified Hand Therapy
- Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehab
Even though there are many specialties and settings within the realm of ‘physical therapy’, most all physical therapists are trained to accelerate the body’s own healing process, hasten recovery, promote better movement, foster return to activities that promote quality of life. There are no side-effects, no drugs, or invasive procedures involved with physical therapy. It is typically the first and best option for most any muscle/joint/nerve/tendon problems, even those that might require surgery since therapy can shorten the recovery time and improve the outcome of the surgery.
If you have any questions, just ask your physical therapist today!