Have you experienced waking up and you are having a hard time controlling your body? If yes, you may want to check with your physical therapist. Exposing ourselves everyday and doing our daily tasks makes us more vulnerable to accidents and pain. Others are born with conditions that do not allow them to perform tasks as they should. These are just a few scenarios where one can benefit from physical therapy.
Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, is a form of promoting care to people who suffer from pain, dysfunction, and other motivations that affect them from performing their usual tasks. It aims to ease the pain and help them live better. It is one of the allied health professions and is attended by Physical Therapists or physiotherapists. They help restore health by undergoing the process of physical examination, diagnosis, patient education to promote health and help them prevent diseases through physical interventions and rehabilitation.
Physical Therapy is done by licensed health professionals that have undergone specific graduate training. Physical Therapists (PT) help take care of patients to heal holistically, from diagnosis to restorative and preventive phases of recovery. They work with your doctors and other health care professionals to attend to a serious illness and injury. They will ask you questions regarding your pain and other symptoms, ability to move or perform everyday tasks, your sleeping experience, and your medical history. Upon acquiring the important details, PT will then devise a plan to address your needs. Physical therapists may provide supplementary treatment to a variety of medical conditions, however they do not independently treat them other than musculoskeletal conditions.
Aside from physical manipulation and optimization of movement patterns, physical therapy treatment may involve:
- Electrical stimulation (e-stim): E-stim uses electrical pulses mimicking the action of signals from neurons for muscle recovery and help repair injured muscles. This is essentially beneficial for stroke survivors who are required to relearn basic motor functions. Two main types of e-stim are TENS, for acute and chronic pain; and EMS, for stronger electric current to get muscles to contract.
- Heat, moist heat, and cold therapy: These may provide benefits to a range of conditions. Including injury and muscle strain.
- Iontophoresis: This is a technique that uses an electrical current to introduce ionic medicinal compounds into the body. This decreases the presence of inflammation.
- Light therapy: This is a non-invasive treatment that involves using special lights and lasers to treat certain medical conditions.
Physical therapy has broken boundaries proving its capability to benefit and treat its patients. Various treatments may help one to manage the pain and avoid the use of opioids — a can be natural or synthetic drugs used to treat pain. It is also a preventive measure in avoiding accidents and surgeries. It has been proven effective for people that need recovery from stroke, paralysis, injury, or trauma.
Some of the health conditions that physical therapists evaluate and treat include:
- Skin conditions – instances such as diabetic ulcers, burns, and wound care.
- Cardiopulmonary condition – examples are heart failure, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive disease.
- Musculoskeletal dysfunction – includes joint disorders, back pain, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
- Neurological conditions – some of which are traumatic brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries.
- Pediatric conditions – may refer to cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy
- Female health conditions – such as pelvic floor dysfunction and lymphatic obstruction.
- Cancer – treatments for Cancer may cause extreme pain and disability to patients. With proper assessment and treatment of impairments these consequences can be managed through physical therapy.
Know that physical therapists can treat many other problems besides the ones on the list. As we grow older, we become easy targets of accidents and diseases. The good news is that physical therapy benefits all ages and it can treat a variety of health problems. Availing physical therapy has shown efficacy to help you recover quickly and safely, and it can save you money due to decreased overall healthcare expenses.