The Benefits of Physical Therapy

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or dealing with a chronic health condition, Physical Therapy can help.

Physical Therapy

Pure Physio PT will create a treatment plan that addresses your goals and challenges. They may also use a variety of interventions, known as therapeutic modalities, to decrease pain and swelling. These include: kinesiology taping (which uses special cloth tape to improve movement), electrical stimulation, and massage.

Physical Therapy is a type of rehabilitative medicine that helps individuals with injuries, pain, or medical conditions by improving their mobility and movement function. PT involves a series of exercises and movements that help to reduce discomfort, improve stability, and increase range of motion.

Many seniors find that a short period of Physical Therapy is necessary after an injury or surgery to relieve pain and stiffness, but some require longer-term treatment for more chronic symptoms like balance issues, muscle weakness, and limited range of motion. Physical Therapists are trained to treat a variety of problems in the body, from chronic pain to spinal cord injuries to traumatic brain injuries.

PT is typically prescribed by a doctor, and a referral is required to see a physical therapist (PT). A licensed PT works in hospitals, clinics, private practices, skilled nursing facilities, schools, home health agencies, fitness centers, and sports teams. Some specialized physical therapists also work in palliative care for cancer patients, helping them cope with the effects of their disease and improve quality of life.

Some of the most common treatments a PT will use include therapeutic exercise, modalities (heat, ice, or electrical stimulation), manual techniques to move joints and muscles, patient education, and therapeutic interventions such as acupuncture, massage, or taping. PTs often spend a lot of time working directly with their clients, which makes it easy for them to form a strong client-therapist relationship.

Regardless of the specific technique used, a PT’s goal is always to improve the client’s ability to move and to reduce their pain. They may also teach the client self-management techniques to avoid future pain and injury.

A PT isn’t always able to diagnose and treat every condition, and if a problem is misdiagnosed or the incorrect treatment is provided, the pain could actually worsen rather than improve. Fortunately, this is rare. PT carries fewer risks than other treatment options and has a high rate of success, especially when done by a highly qualified professional.

How Does Physical Therapy Work?

Physical therapy is a hands-on, patient-centered approach that works with you to ease pain, improve your ability to move and feel better. When you visit a physical therapist, your therapist will create a treatment plan that’s unique to you and your condition. This can include exercises, massages and treatments based on physical stimuli (e.g. heat, cold, electrical currents or ultrasound).

During your initial evaluation, your PT will assess the area of injury or pain and determine the best course of treatment for you. This will be based on your goals, medical history, pain level and limitations. They may use diagnostic tools such as range of motion tests and strength testing to help them make their diagnosis.

Your therapist will also educate you on the injury or pain, and provide instructions about how to prevent future problems or injuries. They can teach you proper body mechanics and safe work habits, for example, when lifting or carrying something heavy. This is especially important for patients in physically demanding jobs or who are prone to overuse injuries.

Studies have shown that patients who have regular physical therapy experience lower levels of pain and disability than those who don’t. That’s why it’s so important to get the green light from your doctor to start treatment and stick with it. It’s also essential to listen to your therapist and follow their guidance, especially when they tell you to rest or not do certain activities.

Injuries aren’t just physical — they often have an emotional component as well. The best PTs recognize this and take the time to build relationships with their patients, which can help them manage their anxiety about getting better. They will also encourage patients as they progress, which has been shown to lead to a more successful outcome for their rehabilitation.

At Summit, we offer a variety of different physical therapies, including the Bridge Back to Sport program, which helps athletes recover from ACL injuries so they can return to playing sports safely and effectively. Our physical therapists are experts in their field, and we can help you recover from any type of injury or illness so you can get back to doing the things you love.

How Can I Get Started?

If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapist, one of the best ways to see if the career is right for you is by shadowing or interning with a licensed PT. You can also reach out to alumni from your school who are practicing and ask them if they would be willing to help you gain exposure. Another way to get experience is to volunteer or work as a care assistant in a nursing home, hospice, or assisted-living facility. This will give you hands-on clinical experience and allow you to learn the ins and outs of patient care.

In most cases, you’ll need to be referred to a physical therapist by a healthcare professional like your doctor or nurse practitioner. However, some states offer direct access to physical therapists without a physician’s referral. The American Physical Therapy Association website has a list of all the states that offer direct access.

Your first appointment will include an interview and a physical examination of the affected area(s). You’ll probably be asked to wear loose clothing and move around a lot during your treatment sessions, so be prepared to dress comfortably. Many people choose to wear workout clothes, such as shorts or a T-shirt with a tank top that allows the therapist to see your shoulders.

The therapist will assess your pain, range of motion (how much you can move), and muscle strength. Then they’ll develop a treatment plan and explain how long you should expect to be in physical therapy. Most treatment plans involve exercises to perform at home in addition to sessions with the therapist. Your therapist may also use tools like therapeutic modalities (electrotherapy, ultrasound, and laser therapy) or assistive devices, such as splints or walkers.

After you finish your physical therapy, it’s important to continue your exercise regimen at home to maintain the progress you made with your therapist. It’s also a good idea to keep your doctor informed about your progress and any new symptoms that arise.

As the industry becomes more competitive, some physical therapists are opting out of traditional insurance contracts and going into private practice. These independent clinics are usually referred by other providers or patients, and charge a flat fee for services instead of charging an insurance co-pay.

What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?

Whether you’ve suffered a major injury or have been living with chronic pain, the benefits of physical therapy are numerous. They include reducing pain and restoring movement, improving posture and postural stability, and strengthening muscles.

Physical therapists also provide patients with tools and education that empower them to take control of their health. For example, they can teach you how to perform exercises correctly and help you develop a healthy lifestyle that will reduce the risk of future injuries. This is a big benefit, as it can cut down on the amount of opioids (opiate pain relievers) you may have to use in the future.

A great therapist will recognize impairments in movement patterns that could be contributing to the areas where you’re experiencing pain. They’ll then create a treatment plan to address these weaknesses, which will reduce the likelihood of injury and the need for pain medication.

In addition to strengthening, a PT session can include techniques like ice therapy, soft tissue mobilization, and electric stimulation. Your therapist might even incorporate “dry needling,” in which they insert short needles into muscle tissue. This technique has been shown to reduce pain and increase strength, as it releases tension in tight muscles.

Another great thing about physical therapy is the potential for a client-therapist connection. There’s no other medical professional who spends so much time with their clients, which can lead to a deeper understanding of the patient beyond their injuries or symptoms. This personal relationship can also help build trust, which can be beneficial when a patient is facing an emotional challenge because of their pain.

If you’re interested in receiving physical therapy, start by asking your doctor or other healthcare professional to write a referral. Make sure you choose a therapist who has experience treating the type of condition you have and is accepting your insurance coverage. When you begin sessions, be prepared to participate actively, with open communication and the willingness to follow your therapist’s guidance between appointments. By taking an active role in your care, you’ll be able to reap the most benefits from physical therapy.