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Physical Therapy – The Way It Helps

The main function of a therapist is to evaluate and treat abnormal physical body functions caused by diseases, disability, injury, or a specific condition. Licensed professionals are found in many healthcare settings, including rehab centres, hospitals, private practice, outpatient offices, research centres, different government agencies, hospices, occupation settings, schools, sports and fitness settings, home health, and nursing homes.

What Should You Expect

The truth is that physical therapy is a form of treatment designed for people of all ages with different conditions. Therapists work hard in helping a patient through all healing phases, starting from the diagnosis, restorative, to preventive recovery stages. It is wise to note that physical therapy may come in the form of a standalone option or act as a supportive form of other treatments.

The Common Conditions

There are many conditions that can benefit from physical therapy. However, below are the most common conditions that one can benefit from this type of treatment.

• Sports-related injuries – like tennis elbow and concussion
• Pediatric conditions – like muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and developmental delays
• Neurological conditions – like traumatic brain injuries, vestibular dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, and stroke
• Musculoskeletal dysfunction – like TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), rotator cuff tears, and back pains
• Hand therapy – like trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome
• Cardiopulmonary condition – like MI (post-myocardial infarction), CF (Cystic fibrosis), and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
• Pelvic floor dysfunction and women’s health – like lymphedema and incontinence
• Other conditions that one may benefit from physical therapy include diabetic ulcers, wound care, and burns.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

• It helps improve balance
• Helps a person recover from paralysis or stroke
• Helps a person recover from trauma or injury
• Helps to improve movement and mobility
• Prevents invasive surgery
• Helps in the management of all age-related medical conditions
• Plays a huge role in athletics as it helps maximise performances by strengthening specific body parts

Types of Physical Therapy

It is clear that physical therapy can help a patient to retain strength and movement after an illness or injury. However, just like any other medical professional, there are various types of therapies that can be used to treat a wide range of conditions.

• Geriatric Physical Therapy

This is a type of physical therapy that is geared towards older patients with conditions that affect their physical and mobility functions. This type of treatment includes hip and joint replacements, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis, incontinence, and balance disorder. The main aim of geriatric physical therapy is to restore mobility, increase physical fitness levels as well as reduce pain.

• Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

This type of physical therapy treatment helps treat musculoskeletal injuries. This treatment includes tendons, muscles, fascias, ligaments, and bones. Therefore, this treatment is suitable for medical conditions like sprains, fractures, chronic medical problems, bursitis, tendonitis, and even the recovery from surgery. Treatments may involve manual therapy, joint mobilisation, mobility training, strengthening training, and other modalities.

• Neurological Physical Therapy

This type of physical therapy treatment is designed for those with neurological conditions and disorders, like stroke, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, brain injury, and Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment may also help treat paralysis, increase limb responsiveness, muscle strengthening, and much more.

• Pelvic Rehabilitation

This form of treatment helps in the treatment of pelvic pain, faecal or urinary incontinence, and urinary urgency. This treatment is designed for both women and men.

• Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

This type of treatment is designed to help people with some cardiopulmonary conditions. It also helps those who have undergone a surgical procedure. The treatment may increase stamina and physical endurance.

Aside from physical manipulation, physical treatment can include:
• Ultrasound – aimed at promoting healing and blood flow through heating tissues, muscles, and tendons
• Phonophoresis – This treatment uses ultrasound to deliver certain medications like topical steroids. This helps to reduce inflammation.
• Electrical stimulation (E-stim) – this treatment is geared towards the use of ordinary electrodes on the skin to increase function and reduce pain.
• Light Therapy – This form of treatment involves the use of laser or special light to treat several medical conditions.
• Cold, Moist Heat, and Heat therapy

Finding a Physical Therapist

The truth is that finding a qualified and experienced therapist requires several factors. These factors include the reason for treatment, specialty, insurance acceptance, and geographical location. In most cases, the insurance companies have a list of physical therapy locations that offer specific health treatment plans. Other HealthCare providers may have their list too, in whom they recommend physiotherapists such as Nick Critchley.