5 Reasons Why Physical Therapy is So Important
For those of you who have experienced an injury, orthopaedic surgery, or pain, the role and benefit of physical therapy may be clear to you. However, for those less familiar, I would like to give some insight on why physical therapy is so important and how it can benefit you!
Physical therapy is a dynamic profession utilizing scientific based clinical treatment methods to restore, maintain, and promote optimal physical function.
- Diagnose and manage movement dysfunction and enhance physical and functional abilities.
- Restore, maintain, and promote not only optimal physical function but optimal wellness and fitness and optimal quality of life as it relates to movement and health.
- Prevent the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities that may result from diseases, disorders, conditions, or injuries. (1)
Now that you know a little more about what a physical therapist does, it is time to go over why physical therapy is important for YOU!
Here are 5 reasons you should choose physical therapy:
Let’s be honest, no one wants to be in pain, and quite often the cause may not be obvious. Anyone who has had pain or continues to suffer from pain knows the impact it can have on one’s quality of life. However, physical therapy has been shown to be an effective way of addressing pain both acute and chronic. Utilizing therapeutic exercise, soft tissue and joint mobilization, and other physical therapy techniques and modalities, has shown to minimize or eliminate pain as well teach patients self-remedies to help avoid pain in the future!
When patients experience pain or impairment, often surgery is an option that quickly enters their radar. Although sometimes surgery is unavoidable, in many cases physical therapy can be an effective method in avoiding surgery all together. There is growing research that demonstrates physical therapy being the first line treatment in a plethora of musculoskeletal injuries and giving it a try prior to going under the knife may be the secret to avoiding unnecessary surgery. In the instances that therapy does not prevent surgery, there is strong evidence that therapy prior to surgery improves postoperative outcomes!
Return to activity after injury
In my time as a physical therapist I have known many of my colleagues to be avid fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Combine that with an education in physical rehabilitation and you have the right person to help you get back to doing the activities that you love. A physical therapist will consider both the healing process and physical requirements involved in the activity to create a custom plan utilizing scientific based methods to get you back on the move as soon as possible.
Most people look for physical therapy to recover following injury or when in pain. However, one aspect overlooked is the role physical therapy plays in diagnosing areas of weakness and poor mobility that may leave a patient vulnerable to injury. When a physical therapist recognizes these impairments, they will create a therapeutic regimen to target those areas and potentially reduce the likelihood of injury. Unfortunately, all injuries are not avoidable, however like anything in life it is always better to be proactive!
Improve balance and prevent falls
It is widely known that falls among the elderly are prevalent, dangerous, and can disastrously impact their quality of life. Over 25% of seniors above age 65 (that percent only increases with age!) will fall at least once this year, many times with significant consequences. Physical therapists can help prevent falls with evaluation and development of custom treatment plans including exercises to improve strength, mobility, and balance. As well provide education to patients and their loved ones highlighting simple ways to reduce fall risk at home.
The benefits of physical therapy in totality would be challenging to fit in just one short writeup, however I hope this has been informative to those who may not have known the importance of physical therapy. As someone that has worked in the field as well been a patient, I have seen the benefits first hand. If you would like more information on whether physical therapy is right for you, consult with your medical doctor, orthopedist, or just come down to any of our therapy offices and we would be happy to talk with you!
(1) – Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, 2nd Edition (2003)