October 20th, 2020
Physical Therapy Can Help Improve Your Health and Wellness!
Physical therapy improves the physical health of people who have injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions. An individualized physical therapy program is a conservative approach to managing these types of problems.
But it doesn’t do just that - it also improves overall health and wellbeing!
Evidence of the success of physical therapy
Clinical studies support the benefits of physical therapy for health conditions like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the ten most common illnesses. "Patients were recruited from the osteoporosis outpatient clinics of Klinikum Südstadt hospital and the University hospital of Rostock to engage in physical therapy for osteoporosis.
Over a period of 3 months, 44 patients with osteoporosis completed a twice-weekly 30-minute intensive exercise program. The conclusion was that physical therapy reduced pain and improved function, with the sling exercise patients benefiting most.
The combination of functional improvement and pain mitigation resulted in improved health. This study is just one of the many proving the health benefits of physical therapy.
The 6 main benefits of physical therapy
Decreased risk of heart and lung disease
Physical therapy is a component of cardiac rehabilitation. To address pulmonary issues, a physical therapist will help improve your health and quality of life through breathing, strengthening and conditioning exercises. Physical therapy also helps clear fluid from the lungs.
Help with conditions caused by age
With aging, the chances of developing osteoporosis or arthritis are increased. A physical therapist is a trained expert at helping patients recover and manage age-related health problems like osteoporosis and arthritis.
With both passive and active treatments, physical therapy improves mobility. Muscles are strengthened and flexibility is greatly improved. This way you can engage in activities and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Fall prevention and balance rehab
With physical therapy, a physical therapist will screen your risk for falling. Exercises will be given to improve your balance in real-life situations. Assistive devices will be given to ensure safe walking. And if you have a problem with your vestibular system, a physical therapist will perform specific methods to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.
Possibility of avoiding surgery
When physical therapy works to heal and reduce pain, the need for surgery is greatly decreased. “For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, treatment by a PT has been found to be as effective as surgery.”
Manual therapy treatments like soft tissue mobilization, ultrasound, electric stimulation and targeted exercises help relieve pain and restore joint and muscle function. These types of methods also help prevent pain from coming back.
Passive physical therapy vs active physical therapy
Passive treatments work to manage pain. The purpose of passive physical therapy is to help manage and alleviate pain, so you can get back to the activities you love.
By eliminating pain first, the rest of your treatment program will be easier. Passive treatments are done first so you can focus on regaining your strength and function later on in your treatment plan.
Passive physical therapy can include any combination of these specialty treatments, as deemed fit by your physical therapist. These include, but are not limited to:
- Manual therapy
- Ice and heat therapies
- Dry needling
- Electrical stimulation, such as TENS Units
Active therapy focuses on targeted exercises and stretches in order to improve function in the affected area.
The purpose of active treatments is to provide exercises that the patient can do on their own in the later stages of their physical therapy treatment plan. In fact, many active physical therapy treatments are designed so the patient can perform them on their own, after their PT sessions are over.
Once your pain or discomfort subsided enough that your physical therapist believes you are ready for active physical therapy, he or she will set up an exercise schedule specific to your needs.
The exercises prescribed in an active treatment plan are all geared toward helping you gain back your flexibility, range of motion, and muscle strength. These exercises will help provide support to the painful area and will guide you further in your recovery process.
Discover the benefits of PT today
With physical therapy, you get an individualized treatment plan to address your challenges, needs and goals. A physical therapist will help you manage pain, improve chronic conditions, recover from an injury and prevent future chronic diseases.
A physical therapist will also collaborate with other health professionals to ensure that you get the best of care. Patients are encouraged to be active participants in their treatment plan. All around, physical therapy is designed to improve your health and help you engage in your regular activities.