5 Benefits of Keeping Up with Your Physical Therapy
If you’ve suffered an injury, it’s likely that your physician has recommended physical therapy as part of your treatment plan. In some cases, people with injuries, chronic pain, or limited mobility choose surgery over physical therapy, as they consider surgery to be a quick and more efficient way to cure the problem. However, given the fact that physical therapy is the least intrusive treatment, it’s wise to try physical therapy before resorting to other, more invasive, treatment options.
Below we’ll outline 5 benefits of keeping up with your physical therapy program.
Chronic pain can cause stress, sleepless nights, and can even disrupt your work and leisure time. It’s, without a doubt, one of the most aggravating conditions, particularly if the underlying cause is not well defined. Luckily, physical therapy treatments are effective when it comes to mobilizing the soft tissues and joints of the body to restore optimal function. What’s more, you can actually prevent pain from recurring by continuing to do the prescribed physical therapy on a regular basis.
Boost Your Balance and Minimize your Risk of Falling
When you start physical therapy, your therapist will screen you for fall risk. If the screening shows that you are prone to falls, your physical therapist will recommend exercises that will carefully test your balance as a strategy for mimicking real-life situations. The therapist can also show you exercises to boost your coordination and recommend assistive devices for a safer living. If it’s found that your balance problem is triggered by your vestibular system, the therapist can do specific treatments that can easily restore proper vestibular functioning and minimize and/or get rid of symptoms of vertigo or dizziness.
Regardless of your age, physical therapy comes in handy when you’re dealing with mobility issues such as difficulty standing, moving, or walking. Simple stretching and muscle strengthening workouts can restore, or even improve, your capability to move. A competent physical therapist can recommend a walking stick, crutches, orthotics, or other crucial assistive devices that suit your situation and needs.
Improves Overall Health
One of the least known benefits of physical therapy is its ability to tackle a wide array of age-related health conditions such as joint pain, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Physical therapy is a conservative treatment method for older people since it offers them a less traumatic option compared to going through joint replacement surgery. It also helps older patients retain their independence around the home for an extended period, allowing them to perform their tasks of daily living independently. Further, physical therapy has the ability to boost cardiovascular function, so it’s helpful if you suffer from cardiovascular disease.
Helps Athletes Avoid or Recover from a Sports Injury
Physical therapists are aware that different sports can predispose you to certain forms of injuries. For instance, long distance runners have a high risk of stress fractures, while basketball players are more prone to knee issues. Athletes looking to return to their sport after a long period of injury can safely do so by taking advantage of recovery exercise programs developed by their physical therapist. Physical therapy can help train you for your specific sport and help you attain improved endurance. It also boosts circulation, beefs up your muscles, and improves your flexibility, which takes your game to the next level every time you play, giving you a competitive edge.
What Should You Expect from a Physical Therapist?
A physical therapist takes care of you in all stages of the healing process, from diagnosis to the recuperative and preventive phases of recovery. You can seek therapy services by yourself or through a referral from your primary care doctor. Irrespective of how you come to a therapist, you can expect to:
- Go through a physical examination and assessment, including your medical history and some testing procedures such as an evaluation of flexibility, posture, and muscle and joint movement and functioning.
- Receive a diagnosis, where you learn the underlying cause or causes of your pain or issue; a treatment plan; and goals.
- Receive physical therapy treatments that address the cause of the problem, and help relieve pain and restore you to your desired activities. Our approach involves a heavy focus on manual therapy, "hands-on" treatments, as well as focused exercise.
- Receive advice on what you can do for yourself to keep moving and feeling better, and to prevent recurrence of the problem.
Physical therapy is a conservative treatment approach that should be considered before undergoing more invasive treatment options for pain control. Physical therapy provides a plethora of benefits including pain relief, improved range of motion and balance, increased athletic performance, and improved overall health. After your initial assessment, your physical therapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan specific to your condition. In order to experience optimal results, it’s important that you keep up with your physical therapy, even when you start to feel better.