Physical therapy isn't just something you do for a few weeks after an injury. Working with a physical therapist is actually an essential part of your treatment plan that is vital for keeping your body healthy and functioning properly during and after your recovery. Your trip to the physical therapy clinic can mean the difference between a full and healthy recovery or a long, drawn-out process with a greater risk for future injuries.
The team at is highly trained and experienced in providing physical therapy for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, from sports injuries to degenerative diseases. With our hands-on approach, we're able to provide our patients with the individualized care and attention they need to properly heal and recover.
Here are some facts about physical therapy at OAA, along with ten reasons why physical therapy benefits you as an essential part of your treatment plan:
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a type of treatment that uses exercises and other hands-on techniques to help patients regain movement and function after an injury or surgery. Licensed physical therapists (PTs) are highly trained and licensed healthcare professionals who work with patients to create individualized treatment plans that address their specific needs.
PTs use a variety of techniques to help their patients recover, including:
- Manual therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Ice/heat therapy
- And more.
Physical Therapy vs Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy and occupational therapy are both types of rehabilitative care that can help patients regain movement and function after an injury. However, there are some key differences between the two:
Physical therapy focuses on helping patients regain strength, range of motion, and mobility, while occupational therapy focuses on helping patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating, dressing, and bathing.
Physical therapists typically work with patients who have recently sustained an injury or undergone surgery, while occupational therapists typically work with patients who have chronic conditions or disabilities.
What Are 10 Benefits of Physical Therapy?
There are many benefits of physical therapy, both for patients recovering from an injury and for those living with a chronic condition or disability. Here are 10 ways physical therapy can help patients achieve a full recovery:
1. Reduce Pain
One of the most common reasons patients seek out physical therapy is to relieve pain. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques, such as exercises, manual therapy, and electrical stimulation, to help their patients find relief from pain. These techniques can be applied to various areas of the body to manage pain, including neck pain, shoulder pain, and more.
2. Restore Physical Function
After an injury, it's common for patients to experience a loss of physical function. This can make it difficult to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing and bathing. One of the primary goals of physical therapy is to restore function. Licensed physical therapists work to help patients regain range of motion, build strength, and improve mobility so they can return to their normal level of function.
3. Address Musculoskeletal Conditions
Physical therapists are highly trained in the management of musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and tendonitis. They use a variety of techniques to help their patients find relief from pain and improve mobility. In addition, physical therapists can provide patients with education on how to better manage such conditions and prevent further deterioration.
4. Help With Balance Problems
Balance and coordination problems can lead to falls, which can cause serious injuries. Physical therapists work with patients to improve mobility, balance, and coordination through exercises and other activities. This can help reduce the risk of falls and improve overall safety.
5. Treat Sports-Related Injuries
Sports injuries are common, especially in contact sports. Physical therapists work with athletes to assess their injuries and create individualized treatment plans that address their specific needs. Sports physical therapy may focus on reducing pain, restoring range of motion, and improving strength and coordination. In addition, physical therapists can provide athletes with education to prevent further injury.
6. Recover After Surgery
After surgery, patients often need help regaining their strength and range of motion. This is especially true for patients who have had orthopedic surgery, such as knee surgery or a joint replacement. Physical therapists work with patients to help them recover and return to their normal level of function. Physical therapists can also provide patients with education on how to properly care for their incisions and prevent infection.
7. Establish a Home Exercise ProgramPhysical therapy isn't just about what you do in the clinic with your therapist. It's also about what you do at home on your own. That's why physical therapists often establish home exercise programs (HEPs) for their patients. HEPs are designed to help patients continue their progress after they leave the clinic. The exercises in a home exercise program are specifically chosen to address the needs of each individual patient.
8. Provide Relief for All AgesPhysical therapy can provide relief for people of all ages, from young children to older adults. Physical therapists are trained to work with patients of all ages, and they often have experience working with specific age groups. For example, pediatric physical therapy specializes in the treatment of young children, while geriatric physical therapy specializes in the treatment of older adults.
9. Potentially Avoid SurgeryIn some cases, physical therapy can help patients avoid surgery. For example, if a patient has a herniated disc, the goal of physical therapy may be to reduce the pain and inflammation enough that surgery is no longer necessary. In other cases, physical therapy may be recommended as an alternative to surgery. For example, patients with arthritis may be able to find relief with physical therapy instead of joint replacement surgery.
10. Improve Overall Quality of LifePhysical therapy can have a positive impact on overall health and well-being. The techniques used in physical therapy can help reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote relaxation. In addition, physical therapists and related healthcare professionals often work with patients to develop healthy lifestyle habits. These habits can help improve overall health and quality of life.
Visit Lehighton's Top Physical Therapist Near You
Physical therapy can offer many benefits for those dealing with various musculoskeletal conditions. If you think physical therapy may be right for you, it's time to discuss your needs with a healthcare provider and get started with your treatment plan.