Physical therapy is an important component of orthopedic treatment. In fact, it is often one of the first steps in addressing an injury.
Goals of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy provides a variety of benefits, including reduced pain, improved function, increased range of motion, proper alignment and more. Of course, the primary goal of physical therapy is restored function and a return to activity—but these things are often a byproduct of the larger rehabilitation process, during which many patients learn a whole new way of moving.
Physical Therapy is an Education
Most patients think they know how to move properly—until they start physical therapy. Physical therapists are trained to identify deficiencies in the biomechanics of the body. Often, physical therapists can target specific areas of weakness or improper alignment.
Most patients find physical therapy to be somewhat educational. It is an opportunity to learn about your own body and to identify movement patterns that are associated with your injury.
Physical Therapy is Customized
Physical therapists are specialists skilled and educated in proper rehabilitation methods. They are knowledgeable about surgical procedures and treatment goals and work closely with your referring physician in order to develop individualized rehabilitation programs.
Physical therapists blend their knowledge about surgical procedures and rehabilitation with what they identify about your body—providing the ultimate customized care. They will look at your movement patterns, habits, and limitations; evaluate your rate of healing; and design a program that will help you return to action.
Physical Therapy is Important
Whether you undergo surgery or not, physical therapy is an important component of recovering from an injury.
- Fix faulty movement patterns: If you have an injury or chronic pain, physical therapy can help to address the underlying issues related to the pain. Not only can it provide pain relief, but it can also help you make corrections to prevent ongoing problems. Often, physical therapy is enough to address an injury and get you back in the game.
- Prevent build-up of scar tissue: After an injury or surgery, it is natural for scar tissue to form; however, it is important to prevent the build-up of this scar tissue because this tissue can cause pain and tightness. Physical therapists use stretching and other manual techniques to prevent this build-up and ensure that the formation of scar tissue does not impede rehabilitation.
- Stretch tight muscles and joints: Stretching is important for maintaining flexibility and range of motion. Your physical therapist will design an appropriate stretching regimen for you.
- Strengthen: Strengthening exercises help strengthen surrounding musculature, which can help reduce strain on joints. Physical therapy will help you strengthen the muscles associated with your injury as well as surrounding muscles. Often, strength imbalances lead to injury.
- Improve outcomes: Physical therapy helps improve post-surgical outcomes, by addressing pain, scar tissue, strength, range of motion, and more.
If you want pain relief, improved mobility, increased strength and flexibility, and proper alignment, don’t slack on your physical therapy. It is an important component of recovering from any injury.