Knee Replacement SignsPhysical 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 physical therapy team at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists is highly trained and experienced in providing physical therapy treatment 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.

Ready to get back to the life you love? The  orthopedic physical therapy team at OAA is here to help. Schedule your first appointment today and get started on your road to recovery.

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:

  • Exercise
  • 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. 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 acute and chronic pain. These techniques can be applied to various areas of the body to manage pain, including neck pain, shoulder pain, and more.

  2. 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. 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, they can provide patients with physical therapy education on how to better manage such conditions and prevent further deterioration.

  4. 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. 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. 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. 7. Establish a Home Exercise Program

    Physical 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. 8. Provide Relief for All Ages

    Physical 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. 9. Potentially Avoid Surgery

    In 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. 10. Improve Overall Quality of Life

    Physical 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.

At OAA Orthopaedic Specialists, our physical therapy rehabilitation centers offer a wide range of services to help patients recover from surgery, treat sports injuries, and more.

Ready to receive the best physical therapy the Lehigh Valley has to offer? Schedule an appointment at one of our convenient physical therapy locations.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can physical therapy education benefit me?

Physical therapy education equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become licensed physical therapists. Through comprehensive coursework and clinical experiences, students learn about anatomy, physiology, therapeutic techniques, and patient care, enabling them to provide effective treatments and improve patients' lives.

How long does it take to get a physical therapy degree?

Obtaining a physical therapy degree typically takes around 7 years. This includes completing a bachelor's degree (4 years) followed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program (3 years). However, the duration may vary depending on the educational pathway and individual circumstances.

How many physical therapy sessions will I need?

The number of physical therapy sessions needed varies depending on the individual's condition, goals, and progress. Some patients may require only a few sessions, while others may benefit from ongoing therapy over several weeks or months. The physical therapist will assess your needs and develop a personalized treatment plan that outlines the expected duration and frequency of sessions.