Physical therapy, also called physiotherapy, is a non-surgical, rehabilitative healthcare specialty. Licensed and trained, physical therapists use scientific-based clinical treatment methods to diagnose and treat injuries, conditions, and movement dysfunction. You may think physical therapy is only needed after an injury or surgery. While it’s true that many patients seek out physical therapy for recovery and to prevent injuries, the potential benefits of physical therapy go beyond, including improving balance and mobility, strengthening muscles, and warding off the effects of aging. Here are five reasons why people consider physical therapy.
1) Relieving and Preventing Pain
Physical therapy can help effectively reduce or even eliminate pain, both immediate and long-term, without the use of medications. Physical therapy can also go deeper by addressing the underlying issues of your pain, so you can take steps to prevent, reduce, or avoid ongoing problems. These include “active” techniques, like therapeutic exercise, and soft tissue or joint mobilization, as well as “passive” techniques, such as ice or heat packs, and electrical stimulation.
2) An Alternative to Surgery
While surgery is sometimes necessary, with physical therapy, you could opt for a less-invasive procedure, or even avoid one completely. Research suggests that for musculoskeletal injuries, physical therapy should be considered the primary treatment, including techniques to improve joint function and mobility. Should you undergo a procedure, therapy beforehand may improve postoperative outcomes. It can help increase blood flow to and from your vital organs, helping to speed up healing, while also supporting mental and emotional well-being.
3) Getting Back to Your Life
Your physical therapist can develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account your healing and physical requirements with the ultimate goal of making it possible for you to return to doing your routine and favorite activities with reduced pain. For sports-related injuries, it may include strengthening and stretching exercises, which can help ensure your safety and prevent additional issues from occurring. Or, if you’ve had a stroke, a physical therapist can help you to recover any lost movement, balance, and function, while strengthening your body’s weakened parts. These are just a few examples of how physical therapy can help you reclaim your life.
4) Managing Age-Related Concerns
For a variety of age-related conditions, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, physical therapists can work with you to manage any pain and movement issues. For example, they may have you perform guided exercises and help you to move properly.
5) Improving Balance and Preventing Falls
Among people 65 years and older, falls are the leading cause of injury and death, affecting one out of four adults. Physical therapists can identify ways to reduce falls at home. As poor balance is a leading cause of injury, they can develop treatment plans, including exercises designed to improve strength, coordination, mobility, and balance. They’ll also provide assistive equipment or devices, such as for walking or balance problems.
Explore How Physical Therapy Can Support Pain Management
Beyond pain and recovery, people engage in physical therapy for various reasons, including improving balance, mobility, and surgical alternatives. If you’re considering physical therapy, the interventional pain management doctors and physical therapists at The Spine & Sports Health Center can help. Schedule an appointment at one of our Hoboken, Jersey City, or Bayonne, NJ locations. We’ll discuss your concerns, evaluate all contributing factors, and design a personalized treatment plan.