What Is Physical Therapy?

February 3rd, 2014 by RockSoup

 

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems make it hard to move around and do everyday tasks. It helps you move better and may relieve pain. It also helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level.

The goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities easier. For example, it may help with walking, going up stairs, or getting in and out of bed.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Common Pains as You Age

At some point in life, many people just don’t feel the way they used to. The run that once cleared their head now just makes them uncomfortably aware of their knees. Or they’ve got achy joints that make them feel “old.” Although it is not uncommon with age to experience new aches, it isn’t normal to be in pain; that’s a sign that something is amiss. No two pains are alike, and it’s hard to predict what you may feel as you age. But there are certain pains that are more common at certain ages…

Read the Common Pains as You Age article > >

Physical therapy can help with recovery after some surgeries. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy for injuries or long-term health problems such as:

Physical therapy may be used alone or with other treatments.

You may get physical therapy at:

  • A clinic.
  • A hospital.
  • A nursing home.
  • Your own home, through home health agencies.
  • School.
  • A sports or fitness setting.

What does a physical therapist do?

Your physical therapist will examine you and make a treatment plan. Depending on your health problem, your therapist will help you with flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and/or balance.

First, your therapist will try to reduce your pain and swelling. Then he or she will probably work to increase your flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Physical therapy almost always includes exercise. It can include stretching, core exercises, weight lifting, and walking. Your physical therapist may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home.

Your physical therapist also may use manual therapy, education, and techniques such as heat, cold, water, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.

Treatment may cause mild soreness or swelling. This is normal, but talk to your physical therapist if it bothers you.

What should you look for in a physical therapist?

You’ll want a therapist who has experience with your health problem. Some physical therapist are board-certified in areas such as orthopedics, sports, geriatrics, and neurology and may offer more specialized care. Physical therapists can specialize in:

  • Muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
  • Nerves and related muscles.
  • The heart and blood vessels.
  • Lung problems and breathing.
  • Skin problems, including wounds and burns.
  • Cancer-related problems.
  • Treatment for children, older adults, or women.

Here are some questions to think about when choosing a physical therapist:

  • Can your doctor suggest one?
  • Do you need a referral from your doctor? Some states require this.
  • Will your insurance company pay for your physical therapy?

Information provided by web M.D.Web M.D.

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/physical-therapy-topic-overview






Comments are closed.