What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is the treatment of injury, illness and certain health problems with physical methods such as exercise, massage, manipulation and other treatments instead of medication and surgery. You can find more information below.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy , also called physiotherapy , is a program that helps people return to full strength, function, and mobility after an illness, injury, or surgery. Physical therapy is a non-surgical treatment option to correct a medical problem. Physical therapy can also help someone with a disability stay as active and independent as possible. When the patient receives physical therapy regularly and follows recommended guidelines, exercises, and other techniques, it can help prevent the problem from getting worse or recurring.

Physiotherapists often combine several techniques to help you move around without or with less pain. These include stretching and balance exercises, strength training, massage, cold or heat therapy, and electrical stimulation. In addition to adult and child physical therapy options, there are also specific exercises to treat certain conditions, such as sports injuries or arthritis. When you visit the physiotherapist for any problem, the physiotherapist will create a customized plan to give you maximum benefits.

Why is physical therapy needed?

Doctors may recommend physical therapy to help patients restore proper physical movement and function. In other cases, surgery and physical therapy may be recommended to heal traumas. Physical therapy can also help prevent injuries or prevent a problem from getting worse. The chances of successful recovery usually increase when your doctor decides that physical therapy is safe for you and you follow your physical therapist’s instructions. It is important to follow your physical therapist’s recommendations for the best results.

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Reasons your doctor may recommend physical therapy include:

  • Relieve and manage pain symptoms
  • Reducing stiffness from joint conditions such as arthritis, spondylitis or gout
  • Ensuring rapid healing of an injury to the spine, joints or other areas
  • Restoring physical function and preventing possible physical damage due to diseases such as stroke or Parkinson’s
  • Improving the quality of life of people with cancer , heart disease, or other health problems
  • Fast recovery after surgery

Who performs physical therapy?

When your doctor refers you to physical therapy, they will share with them or ask you to share any information about your condition or injury and diagnosis. A professional physical therapist, also called a physical therapist, will evaluate your condition, symptoms, balance, range of motion, or your ability to perform activities of daily living. After making all these evaluations, he will initiate the most appropriate physical therapy process for you.

How is physical therapy applied?

Physical therapy uses a variety of range of motion exercises and stretches, depending on the part of the body and the condition being treated. A physical therapy session may also include using a stationary bike or treadmill, strength training with weights and bands, or exercising in a pool. Physiotherapists may massage the affected area, apply heat and ice, or apply electrical stimulation to calm the nerves causing the pain. Treatment plans often include at-home stretching or balance exercise instructions.

What to expect during physical therapy?

At your first visit, your physical therapist will perform a physical exam, review the referring doctor’s notes or diagnosis, and possibly order or perform additional tests to learn more about your condition and general health. Your physical therapist will then learn about your treatment goals and design a treatment plan tailored for you.

At each visit, it is important to talk to your physical therapist about any pain you are experiencing, including the level of pain, what activities cause pain, whether there is pain at rest, and whether it is affecting your sleep. Any information you can provide will help your physical therapist modify and improve your treatment plan.

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Some of the physical therapy treatment techniques may include:

  • Stretching exercises to increase flexibility
  • range of motion exercises to maintain or recover lost mobility
  • Exercises to improve coordination and balance
  • Massage or joint mobilization
  • Hot or cold compress to relieve pain and speed healing
  • Electrical stimulation to relieve pain

What are the risks of physical therapy?

Most of the time, physical therapy is safe under the supervision of a professional physical therapist. Physical therapy plans are designed with your personal situation and goals in mind. Therefore, if you have any problems with the physical therapy you receive, you should let your physical therapist know.

Although rare, possible risks of physical therapy include:

  • worsening of pre-existing conditions
  • Ongoing and persistent pain
  • Lack of improvement in flexibility, mobility and strength
  • Increased metabolism, heart rate or blood pressure for chest physical therapy
  • Bone fracture as a result of falling during physical therapy exercises

To reduce your risk of complications, you should thoroughly learn how to do your exercises correctly. If you don’t understand what to do, you should not hesitate to ask your physical therapist to help you understand this just before you go home.

How to prepare for physical therapy?

First, you must prepare yourself to be an active participant in your physical therapy session. When you go to a physical therapy session, it is also helpful to wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes so that the therapist can evaluate your movement during the exercises. If you are working on knee exercises, wearing shorts will relax you a lot.

Questions to ask your physiotherapist

If you are going to physical therapy for the first time, you may have many questions in your mind such as: You can easily ask these questions to your physiotherapist and get answers.

  • How long will each session take?
  • How long will it take for me to see results?
  • When will I be able to practice the exercises on my own without coming to the session?
  • When can I stop physical therapy?
  • What equipment will I need to use during my physical therapy?
  • What should I do if I feel pain while doing physical therapy?
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What to expect after physical therapy

The goal of physical therapy is to restore or improve your body’s normal function, including strength, mobility, and flexibility. Some people who receive physical therapy experience a full recovery, while others may not experience the same effect. The quality of your recovery depends on several factors, including the problem you have and whether you follow your physical therapist’s instructions exactly as instructed.

How long does physical therapy take to heal?

There are many variables in a recovery process that includes physical therapy. For some conditions, recovery is as short as a few weeks, while in others it can be as long as a year. Chronic conditions such as arthritis may require lifelong physical therapy. In such cases, your physical therapist will develop a plan for you to do regular physical therapy at home to keep your regular physical therapy visits to a minimum. Following physical therapy techniques properly and consistently will increase the likelihood of successful and rapid recovery.

Is there pain in physical therapy?

You may experience pain during physical therapy, and this is often a sign that your body is not yet ready for that level of movement. If this is the case, your physical therapist will likely suggest that you return to an easier level of activity until your body is strong and flexible enough to take it to the next level.

How does physical therapy affect daily life?

With successful physical therapy, patients often experience more independence, less pain, as well as less difficulty in sports, exercise, and daily activities. People treated with sports physiotherapy can safely return to competitive sports after a successful recovery.

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