If you have issues about moving your body, like stiffness, pain, or an incomplete range of movement, then you might need physical therapy.

What is physical therapy?

DrScottNaftulin-SpecialtySpineCare-Square3Physical therapy is needed when your health problems give you difficulty in physically moving around, and doing daily tasks. It can also improve your movements and can relive pain through proper repetitive actions and exercises.

The basic goal is to restore your physical functions to 100%, or at the very least make daily actions and tasks easier for the patient to do.

Who can be physical therapists?

Physical therapist are health professionals who are trained to study and evaluate physical problems, injuries or health conditions, and then come up with a solution that can promote healthy physical functions. They can also come up with personalized body-development programs that can prevent injury by properly increasing fitness.

What are the types of physical therapy?

Many kinds of physical therapy exist, so we’ll just touch on the major ones that are needed across most, if not all kinds of physical issues that PT’s are supposed to solve.

Exercise – this is defined as physical activity that you do aside from your regular daily activities. Properly planned physical exercise can improve flexibility, strength, coordination, and endurance. Exercise can even include how you do your daily activities, so you can improve your body functions and add some more benefits to your daily routine.

When used as a PT program, exercise designed to specifically address your medical condition or injury, to strengthen your body and help you recover, while at the same time help prevent the same injury from happening again, if possible. These can include proper stretching exercises and methods of reducing stress on joints. Core exercises are also included to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Physical therapists should also be able to come up with an at-home exercise plan, in case you can’t go to the gym, or your medical condition doesn’t allow you to.

Manual Therapy – This is the general term for any treatment that requires literal hands-on use, without devices or machines. Manual therapy is used for relaxation, pain management, and more flexibility.

  • Massage applies controlled pressure on muscles and other soft tissues. This can help people relax, improve their circulation, and control pain issues in soft tissue areas.
  • Mobilization uses measured movements to slowly twist, pull, or push joints into position. This is used mainly to loosen tight muscle tissues around a joint, and can help with a person’s flexibility and body alignment.
  • Manipulation is similar to mobilization, but it uses fast movements. Do be sure to talk this type of treatment over with your doctor, as it can be an unpleasant experience.

Education – Finally, one major point of physical therapy is to teach the patient how to avoid being injured again. This may include retraining or modifying set physical behaviors to avoid stress on body parts, protecting one’s joints from possible injuries, teaching the use of assistive devices like crutches, and creating home exercise plans. They can even give advice on how to make the patient’s home friendlier to the person’s medical issues.