Physical therapy can help people recover from injuries and illnesses as an alternative to drugs or surgery. It is also an important part of post-op (after an operation) and even pre-op (before an operation) for patients who are undergoing orthopedic surgery.
A licensed physical therapist (PT) has completed years of education and training in physical therapy methods and applications, including plenty of hands-on experience. A physical therapist can evaluate the extent of a physical condition or injury, and they can design a treatment plan to help the patient heal or reduce their level of pain.
This treatment plan may include applying heat or ice, physical manipulation, and/or targeted exercises. During the course of treatment, your PT will evaluate your progress and make changes to the treatment plan based on what is helping you the most.
How Can Physical Therapy Help Me?
Physical therapy is a safe, noninvasive treatment in the management of a wide range of health conditions. Many people benefit from physical therapy every day, and below are some of the most common reasons why people see a physical therapist:
Relief from Arthritis Pain
Osteoarthritis – often referred to as simply “arthritis” – is the wear-and-tear damage to the cartilage in our joints as we grow older. However, accidents that cause damage to joints can make arthritis occur earlier in life.
Physical therapy can help to maximize your range of motion and relieve pain through strengthening and proper stretching of the muscles, thereby helping you to move better and with less pain. Limiting the use of a joint that is affected by arthritis can actually increase stiffness and swelling.
Your physical therapist will show you how to move in order to reduce pain and increase strength on an ongoing basis. One of the benefits of physical therapy is that it can alleviate pain without drugs, which can lead to dependency.
Relief for Back Pain
Most people experience low back pain at some time in their lives, and it is believed to be the number-one cause of disability worldwide. Physical therapy can help relieve lower back pain through heat and cold application and/or electrical stimulation.
Strengthening muscles that fall into disuse from lack of exercise or poor posture can help reduce or eliminate back pain. If muscles aren’t used, they can atrophy – so it’s vitally important to simply move your muscles. Your PT will show you easy ways to incorporate helpful movements in your daily lifestyle.
Training and Recovery for Athletes
Physical therapy is an essential part of recovering from a sports injury. As the most conservative treatment available, physical therapy can help speed up the healing of injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are damaged during athletic activity.
Possible therapy treatments may include electrical stimulation, specialized exercises, and manipulation. If therapy isn’t enough and surgery is necessary to treat a sports injury, physical therapy helps speed up the healing process.
PTs can help athletes improve their form and performance through optimizing the body’s natural strengths and reinforcing techniques that help to avoid future injury. Learning proper warm-up exercises is the best way to avoid injury during intense exercise or playing sports.
People with diabetes especially benefit from learning new methods to improve mobility and circulation. Physical therapy can help prevent foot ulcers from developing, as they can potentially lead to amputation of the foot and other health issues related to diminished circulation.
Recovery from Stroke
Physical therapy can help people who have suffered a stroke or a TIA (transient ischemic attack, or “mini-stroke”) to regain muscle strength and control in an area where the stroke resulted in a loss of sensation or the ability to move. Patients can also learn new, different ways to move in order to compensate for a disability due to stroke.
Orthopedics in Watertown
The health conditions listed above are just a few of the reasons why patients can benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapists can show you the best way to heal and improve conditioning, thereby helping to relieve pain and recover from illness and injury.
North Country Orthopaedic Group’s large facility includes onsite physical therapy and rehabilitation. Our orthopedic surgeons work directly with our licensed physical therapists to record progress and to provide a seamless treatment experience that is optimized for each patient.
To schedule a consultation, call us today at (315) 782-1650 or fill out or easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free, active lifestyle again.