Why is Physical Therapy Important?

Physical therapy is a conservative treatment that specialists recommend to people of all ages who have had an illness or injury that affects their normal functioning. This care aims to ease pain and help patients function, move, and live better lives. Doctors often refer patients to a physical therapist, but you can have Albany physical therapy without a referral from your doctor. Here is how you can benefit from physical therapy.

Improve mobility

Physical therapy can help individuals with trouble standing, walking, or moving. Such problems can affect your quality of life since movement is essential to being productive.

Your physical therapist may guide you through stretching and strengthening exercises to restore your ability to move. You may need to use assistive devices like a cane or crutches for a certain period until you gain stability. Your therapist customizes a personalized care plan to ensure patients can practice and adapt to whichever activity is essential to their lives.

Avoid surgery

Generally, healthcare providers recommend conservative treatments like medications to treat pain. Surgery is usually the last resort after the pain is still unrelenting after trying other conventional treatments. Surgery may not be necessary if physical therapy eliminates your pain and restores function after an injury or a specific ailment.

Alleviate or eliminate pain

Problems like back pain and any other condition that causes pain can be debilitating when left unresolved. The good news is that physical therapists use therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques to help reduce pain or prevent it from returning. Examples of techniques your specialist may use include joint and soft tissue mobilization or treatments like electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and taping. Patients who require surgery also benefit from pre-surgery physical therapy. By avoiding surgery, you reduce healthcare costs.

Prevent or recover from a sports injury

Anyone can sustain an injury, but specific populations, including athletes, have a greater risk of injuries. Therefore, they work with physical therapists to lower their injury risk. For example, prevention exercise programs may include stretching and strengthening exercises to keep you fit and ready to play a sport. Physical therapists also understand how different sports increase your risk for specific injuries and may offer techniques to ensure safety. Your doctor may also refer you to physical therapy to build bone and muscle strength after a fracture treatment.

Prevent falls and improve balance

Once you begin physical therapy, your specialist will screen for fall risk. If you are likely to fall, you may need exercise that challenges your balance as real-life situations would. Your therapist will also guide you through exercises to improve coordination and may recommend assistive devices to aid with safer walking. Sometimes balance problems may stem from a problem in the vestibular system. In such cases, your therapist performs specific maneuvers to restore proper vestibular functioning to reduce symptoms of dizziness or vertigo.

Recover from stroke

Patients with a stroke may lose some degree of function and movement. Physical therapy can help improve a patient’s gait and balance and strengthen weakened parts of the body. When patients can move around, they become more independent and reduce their burden for care.

Consult your provider at Orthopedic Associates to know how you can benefit from physical therapy.