Physical therapy is also called physiotherapy. It is considered primary medical care in several parts of the world, prescribed with other medical treatments. Your doctor will recommend this treatment if you have had an injury that limits you from performing daily tasks and activities. Physical therapy eases pain and discomfort, helping to restore excellent health and prime function in the body. The physical therapist evaluates the patient’s history, lifestyle, and injury to draft a suitable therapy routine to boost health and facilitate recovery from injury. He will also suggest lifestyle modification and educate the patient to prevent injuries in the future.
How is physical therapy better than surgery?
Physical therapy is an effective and non-invasive way to recover from various injuries. It is a much better treatment option than surgery because it enables easy and smooth recovery from an injury compared to surgery. Surgery is more expensive than physical therapy and, it also comes with a lot of risks and considerable downtime for the patient. Although physical therapy is safe and effective, it is a lengthy treatment option, and to see optimum results, the patients must be steadfast and consistent.
How does it work?
At the first physical therapy session, the therapist will perform a complete analysis of the patient and assess the patient’s needs. He will ask questions regarding the patient’s symptoms, pain, medical history, mobility, and sleeping pattern. The goal of physical therapy is to determine what conditions you have, why you have those conditions, and how those conditions are causing an impediment in your daily life. Based on this information and his medical knowledge, the physical therapist will address and solve each problem. He will also perform several tests to understand the patient’s condition to make a diagnosis. The tests measure how well the patient can move, bend, walk and climb stairs. He will also check the patient’s gripping strength to identify upper limb injury and check posture and balance.
Benefits of physical therapy
It helps eliminate or reduce pain in muscles and joints, boosting performance. Therapeutic exercises, hot/cold compresses, and taping prevent muscle pain from reoccurring as well. Stretching is also a part of physical therapy which enables a wide range of motion by relieving tension in muscles and lubricating the joints. It also has many cardiovascular benefits. Cardio performed as a part of therapy improves the patient’s breathing patterns and helps build stamina and endurance. A physical therapist can also fit a patient with assistive devices like a cane or crutches. Physical therapy also uses a custom-made upper extremity orthosis to protect and facilitate the healing of an injury while making it easier for the patient to resume his daily activities.
1) Physiotherapy for athletes
It is vital for athletes. During physical therapy, the physiotherapist recognizes the weak areas of the athlete that are most prone to injury. Hence, the athlete will learn movement that reduces the stress on the weak areas of his body and prevents injury. Physical therapy also decreases the players’ dependence on potent painkillers which are harmful to health by, providing an alternate way to manage pain. Some violent and physically challenging sports like rugby or football, which involve a lot of intense physical collisions, require physical therapy to reduce muscle tension and pain afterward.
Physical therapy is also significant in the recovery process after a stroke. Ordinarily, a stroke compromises some mobility and function. Physical therapy, after a stroke, strengthens the affected areas of the body and restores equilibrium and some mobility, making it is easier for the patients to move around the bed, go to the toilet, bathe and eat on their own. Their dependence on other people decreases, and they feel more confident. It also improves balance and coordination between different parts of the body through various exercises.
The treatment of diabetes also includes physical therapy. Steady and consistent exercise regulates blood sugar levels. Diabetic people also experience loss of sensation in their feet and toes, which can cause severe problems later on. Physical therapists assess the situation and advise patients on proper foot care.
4) Bone health
Moreover, with increasing age, people develop bone and joint issues like arthritis and osteoporosis. Bones also become weak and liable to get fractured. Physical therapists help patients manage arthritic pain and decrease its progress through conventional methods. Physical therapy also involves exercises that help improve bone health by reducing the unnecessary burden on bones and helping manage one’s daily routine to prevent fractures.
5) Women’s health
Physical therapy is crucial for the health of women, especially during pregnancy. Lower back pain is common during pregnancy. Therapy helps improve posture and reduces tension in muscles thereby, decreasing pain. Physical therapy also strengthens pelvis muscles through regular exercises to overcome the loss of bladder control which causes uterine incontinence.
Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric physical therapy focuses on children. It involves working with children and their families. It enables each child to reach his maximum potential and perform maximally and independently at home, school, and the community. Pediatric physical therapists have a lot of knowledge regarding motor development and body function. They apply this knowledge during the evaluation and examination of each child to draft a therapy regimen best suited to each child’s needs.
How it works
He involves the family in developing and following the therapy program for each child by first interviewing the family to identify the child’s needs and other areas of concern. The child may need help with mobility, muscle and joint function, and sensory development. His posture, sense of balance, and cardiopulmonary status may be weak as well. The pediatric physical therapist addresses each of these issues through developmental activities designed to be engaging and fun so that the child feels comfortable. He also collaborates with other health care professionals to provide assistive technology like orthotics, wheelchair seats, and prosthetics to a child if needed. He usually treats a child between the age of a newborn and eighteen years. Their expertise includes bone/muscle problems, sports injuries, gene-related disorders, and brain/spinal problems in children.
A pediatric physical therapist makes it easier for children to perform their daily activities by teaching them how to strengthen their bodies and use them in a way that is best suited to their lifestyle. Children are encouraged to play on large balls to strengthen their muscles. To improve balance and coordination, the children engage in activities that require walking and hopping. A pediatric physical therapist also gives exercises that the children do at home to maintain steady progress.
Children with down syndrome greatly benefit from pediatric physical therapy, which is crucial to perform basic day-to-day activities, thereby increasing their independence. Such children can reach the maximum potential possible with help from a pediatric physical therapist during their early years. Regular physical therapy prevents these children from developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and some tumors associated with this condition. It also improves their communication skills, making it easier for them to talk to other people. It improves their social outlook and prevents depression.
Physical therapy often helps the body heal much quicker from an injury than it would without it. A physical therapist is a highly trained and licensed doctor who specializes in evaluating peoples’ health conditions, injuries, and limitations to draft an effective plan to guide the therapy. He will work with a doctor and other healthcare professionals to suggest the best treatments for their patients. Massages, hot and cold compressions, hands-on treatment, and exercises to boost mobility will be a part of therapy.