What is Physical Therapy and How Can It Help?

What is Physical Therapy and How Can It HelpPhysical therapists are trained and licensed medical professionals who can diagnose and treat physical abnormalities that cause diminished, painful, or improper functionality. While it is common to seek physical therapy through your doctor or chiropractor, you can also do so on your own. Physical therapists do not, however, take the place of your primary care physician, and serious or chronic illnesses should still be managed through your regular doctor in addition to receiving physical therapy.

What Can I Expect at a Physical Therapy Appointment?

Regardless of how a patient comes to a physical therapist, the first appointment will generally focus on identifying the injured or problematic area. This may include going over your health history, as well as specific tests to evaluate posture, range of motion, flexibility, and muscle and joint movement.

Once your physical therapist has assessed your physical abilities and identified areas of pain or limited mobility, they can provide a clinical diagnosis and develop a care plan. The care plan will outline both short and long term goals as well as how they plan to help you reach them. After your physical therapist has determined a care plan for you, you will begin your physical therapy, which will likely last over multiple appointments and include exercises to do at home to improve your mobility and reduce your pain.

What Conditions Does Physical Therapy Treat?

Physical therapy can aid in a wide array of medical conditions. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • TMJ
  • Stroke
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Vestibular dysfunction
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Concussions
  • Tennis elbow
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Lymphedema

What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?

Due to the non-invasive, osteopathic approach to whole-body wellness, physical therapy provides many benefits to patients of all ages, at all stages of recovery, with all levels of physical ability. It can be the primary course of treatment or be used as a complementary approach to helping you heal. It goes hand in hand with many other therapies, including chiropractic manipulation, massage, acupuncture, and cupping. Depending on why you are seeking physical therapy, benefits may include:

  • Pain management that reduces or eliminates the need for pain medications
  • Prevent surgery or disability
  • Improved mobility
  • Recovery from stroke or paralysis
  • Fall-prevention
  • Improved balance
  • Increased flexibility
  • Management of age-related medical problems
  • Management of chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis

The physical therapists at Joint and Spine Rehabilitation are all highly trained, with at least ten years of experience in physical therapy. They are passionate about helping you live a pain-free, mobile life. If you are interested in physical therapy or want to know if it’s right for you, give us a call today!

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