There are many myths and assumptions about physical therapy. Until you experience it firsthand, you might not know how it works or understand its benefits.
Physical therapy isn’t just something you do after an injury. It’s also not just for pro athletes and people who regularly engage in strenuous sports. It’s so much more than that!
So let’s demystify physical therapy and look at how it benefits almost anyone’s body. Here are 7 ways physical therapy could help you.
1- Managing Conditions
Physical therapy is a recommended treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. Your doctor may recommend PT if they believe it could improve your condition or if they want to prepare you for an upcoming procedure.
Do you have any of the following conditions? If so, talk to your doctor about a condition-specific PT regimen or seek a second opinion by making an appointment with a physical therapist.
…Lower back pain
…Knee/meniscal pain and tears
…Carpal tunnel syndrome
…Chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease
…Neurological conditions that impact neuroplasticity
2- Recovering From Injuries
This is one of the most common and well-known aspects of physical therapy: injury recovery. When you experience an injury that impacts your mobility, PT can help you restore range of motion and get your body back to normal. It can also help you get back to weightlifting, running, soccer, football, basketball, and other physically-demanding sports.
It’s normal for your body to feel vulnerable after an injury. You may even shy away from touch and movement due to lasting pain, stiffness, and scarring. A skilled physical therapist modifies treatment according to your situation and can provide individualized post-injury care.
3- Avoiding and Recovering From Surgery
Here’s something you might not realize: Physical therapy can not only help you recover from surgery, but also help you avoid surgery in the first place!
Doctors sometimes recommend PT in preparation for procedures like knee surgery or back surgery because it sets the stage for a smooth recovery. Ideally, you’ll develop a treatment plan that initiates PT early in the process, before surgery is even considered.
For example, PT may help avoid or delay surgery for conditions like rotator cuff tears, arthritic knees, and spinal stenosis. In someone with a spinal condition like ankylosing spondylitis (AS), physical therapy works as a form of non-contact exercise to support the patient’s condition whether or not surgery eventually takes place.
4- Resolving Persistent Pain
If you have knee, neck, or back pain, you’re among millions of Americans struggling with these issues. Chronic pain is on the rise across the country, especially as some people are becoming more sedentary.
Pain is certainly something that brings many patients to a physical therapist. When you have persistent pain, you’re eager for any treatment that can finally offer relief. PT is a non-invasive pain treatment option that doesn’t require popping a pill or having surgery.
Physical therapy involves tailored exercises that address the sources of pain. For example, a daily routine of proper neck stretches can ease the type of burning neck and shoulder pain that comes with long hours of typing on a computer.
5- Addressing Pelvic Conditions
Did you know physical therapy is a treatment for pelvic conditions? PT may help you achieve improvement in conditions like pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic prolapse, pelvic congestion syndrome, and urinary incontinence.
It also addresses the issue of pelvic pain, which can be a frustrating and embarrassing topic. Physical therapy opens the door to behavioral modification, gentle exercises, and other approaches to pelvic pain that may not have been obvious before.
6- Maintaining Good Balance
Physical therapy restores balance after an injury, plus it improves posture and helps you maintain your strength. It also helps people who have balance disorders like vertigo and kyphosis.
As odd as it may seem, much of your body’s balance depends on the health of the inner ear, which regulates your body’s ability to stay upright without swaying. Your spine and hips also play a big role in maintaining balance. If you have trouble balancing, you may need to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) and/or a physiatrist or orthopedic doctor.
Ask about physical therapy that could help you stay balanced and avoid falls. This is a serious concern because falls are the #1 cause of U.S. emergency room visits and almost one-third of people over age 65 will experience a fall that’s serious enough to go to the emergency room.
7- Coping With Coronavirus
Are you surprised to see this one on the list? New research shows that physical therapy is emerging as a helpful treatment for people who are dealing with COVID-19-related body pain, cognitive challenges, and post-intensive care syndrome.
People who survive COVID-19 may have impairments that last for months or even years into the future. A physical therapist is part of a team of professionals that helps people cope with the severe, body-wide toll a virus can take.
Physical Therapy is a Proactive Plan
If you have any of the circumstances described above, or if you’re just ready for a proactive approach to a persistent health concern, reach out to True Sports Physical Therapy. We are among the best physical therapists in Baltimore, Maryland and provide the highest level of sports-related physical therapy.