How Physical Therapy Can Benefit You

When it comes to physical therapy/physiotherapy, a trained professional will evaluate and provide a treatment plan for physical functions that are abnormal and which are usually associated with a disability, injury, condition, or disease.

Physical therapists that are licensed are often found in various healthcare settings that include private practices, outpatient offices, rehab centres, hospitals, home health, schools, fitness and sports venues, occupational settings, hospices, research centres, and even government agencies.

What to Expect

Physical therapy is helpful for individuals of any age and is used to treat a variety of different conditions.

Physical therapists assist in caring for patients across every phase of healing or recovery, from an initial diagnosis onto the preventative and restorative recovery phases. Physical therapy is either used as a standalone treatment, or it is used to support other types of treatments.

Common Types of Conditions

Here is a list of some of the main conditions that usually benefit from treatments that involve physical therapy:

  • Cardiopulmonary conditions that include COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), MI (post-myocardial infarction), and CF (cystic fibrosis).
  • Musculoskeletal dysfunctions such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders), tears in the rotator cuff, and back pain.
  • Hand therapy for the conditions that include trigger finger, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Neurological conditions like injuries to the spinal cord, strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, TBI (traumatic brain injuries), and vestibular dysfunction.
  • Pelvic floor and women’s health dysfunctions, like lymphedema and urinary incontinence.
  • Pediatric conditions like muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and developmental delays.
  • Sports-related injuries that range from tennis elbow and concussions to torn muscles.

Other common cases that can benefit from physical therapy include diabetic ulcers, wound care, and burns.

Here are some of the top benefits linked to physical therapy:

  • Recovering from a trauma or injury
  • Avoiding surgery
  • Recovery from paralysis or a stroke
  • Improving movement and mobility
  • Improving balance
  • Managing medical problems that are age-related.

Sports therapists are able to help athletes to improve their overall performance in the way of helping to strengthen specific body parts, and how to use their muscles in a different way.

Therapy Types

Physical therapy is useful in helping patients to regain strength or movement after an illness, accident, or injury.

Similar to other medical practices, several therapies may be used in order to treat different types of conditions.

Orthopedic physical therapy is used to treat musculoskeletal injuries that relate to the ligaments, bones, fascias, tendons, and muscles. It is also a preferred choice for a variety of medical conditions that include bursitis, fractures, tendonitis, sprains, chronic medical issues, and recovery or rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery. Some of the techniques used on patients include strength training, joint mobilisations, mobility training, manual therapy, along with other modalities.

Neurological physical therapy is used for patients that suffer from neurological conditions and disorders like brain injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, strokes, and Parkinson’s disease. Physical therapy might be used with the aim of increasing limb responsiveness, treating paralysis, and to increase muscle strength, while decreasing muscle atrophy.

Geriatric physical therapy is useful for patients that are older who have developed conditions that now affect their physical function and mobility, including joint and hip replacement, osteoporosis, balance disorders, arthritis, incontinence, and Alzheimer’s, along with increasing the patient’s physical fitness.

Pulmonary and cardiovascular rehabilitation may benefit patients that have been affected by surgical procedures and cardiopulmonary conditions. Treatment is aimed at increasing stamina and endurance.

Pelvic floor rehabilitation is used to treat urinary urgency, fecal or urinary incontinence, along with pelvic pain due to surgery or injuries, or due to specific conditions.

In addition to physical manipulation techniques, physical therapy treatments can also include:

  • Phonophoresis, which makes use of ultrasound in order to deliver medications like topical steroids. This often helps to lower inflammation.
  • Ultrasound, which promotes healing and blood flow in the way of providing heat to the tissues, tendons, and muscles.
  • Electrical stimulation, which is also known as E-stim. This technique makes use of topical electrodes that are applied to the skin in order to lower pain along with increasing functional capabilities. A common E-stim used is known as TENS which stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medicines are used in combination with specific E-stim modalities which is called iontophoresis.
  • Cold therapy, moist heat, and heat.
  • Light therapy, where special lasers and lights are used in order to treat specific types of medical conditions.
  • Finding the Right Physical Therapist

Finding the right physical therapist usually involves several factors that include their specialty, insurance acceptance, and what you need the treatment for, and their geographical location.

Insurance providers usually offer lists of the physical therapists by location, who form a part of specific types of health plans. General healthcare providers also offer lists of therapists in the local area that they recommend, such as this physiotherapist in Exeter.

Ruth Chacon