While most people have heard of physical therapy in passing, not many fully understand the benefits this medical practice offers. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or living with a chronic illness, a physical therapist can develop a personalized plan to address your body’s specific needs and limitations.
Role in the Recovery Process
Physical therapy is usually recommended for anyone undergoing a lengthy recovery process. You may find yourself facing weeks or months of recovery as a result of the following:
- Vehicle accident
- Sports injury
- Major surgery
Rest may be essential to proper healing, but inactivity can take its toll. Physical therapy aims to help you regain strength and function as you heal.
Injury may prevent you from exercising regularly, which can lead to weakness and decreased endurance. Physical therapists can guide you through modified or alternative exercises that keep your muscles strong without risking further injury. This may allow you to return to daily activities more quickly.
Strong muscles are critical to good balance and fall prevention. If you’re at a high risk of falling, your therapist may have you focus on building core muscles to create more stability. Having a solid sense of balance can help you avoid future injuries, including chronic overuse syndromes.
Maintaining Range of Motion
It isn’t just strength that suffers from inactivity. Your flexibility may also be affected, leading to decreases in your range of motion.
Physical therapy can help you prevent loss of or regain your range of motion through stretching. This exercise can target both stiff joints and tight muscles.
Role in Improving Health and Well-Being
Sometimes debilitation is the result of an ongoing medical issue such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, or an autoimmune disorder. Each of these can have a significant impact on physical capabilities. Physical therapy can help patients manage these conditions and improve their quality of life.
Many people live with chronic pain from a variety of sources:
• Previous injury
• Chronic illness
• Age-related conditions
• Herniated discs
• Lower back pain
• Knee injuries
• Hip pain
When this pain occurs in muscles or joints, physical therapy may be able to help. Stretching and exercise can alleviate and, in some cases, eliminate pain. Even if you don’t have a diagnosed cause, your therapist can develop a plan to help you manage symptoms.
Addressing Chronic Conditions
Other symptoms besides pain, often respond well to physical therapy. For example, individuals looking to address their blood sugar levels may benefit from specialized exercise programs. Therapy can also address these health concerns:
- Pelvic pain and other reproductive health-related conditions
- Heart and lung disease
- Neurological conditions
Role in Developing a Better Lifestyle
You don’t have to wait for illness or injury to seek out medical assistance. In fact, you may be able to prevent health issues by being proactive. Physical therapy can provide the tools you need to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid future problems.
Sports or overuse injuries can sometimes be prevented by addressing muscular or skeletal weaknesses. A physical therapist can identify areas that may be problematic, then create a plan to strengthen them. Athletes may especially benefit from this practice, as the risk of injury may be higher than average depending on the sport and athlete’s position.
Learning Proper Exercise Techniques
Incorrect exercising form can cause more harm than good. If you exercise without the proper techniques, you can put pressure on joints, strain muscles, or even tear ligaments. Since physical therapists have a thorough understanding of the body’s movement, they can teach you how to minimize the risk of injury during exercise.
The staff at Allcure Spine & Sports Medicine are dedicated to helping you reach your wellness goals, whether that means recovery or prevention. Contact us to learn more about our team or call (732) 521-9222 for our Monroe location or (609) 528-4417 for our Hamilton location.
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