The profession of physical therapy is relatively new, attributed to the founder of the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics in Sweden, Pehr Henrik Ling, in 1813. However, as a practice, it can be traced as far back as the days of antiquity, as early as 460 BC! So, as a field of study, it's reasonably well established. But does that mean it's right for your needs?
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Also known as physiotherapists, they rehabilitate people who suffer from movement limitations. Reduced physical ability or functionality can result from various injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions. As you can imagine, reduced movement is not ideal, holding people back from living their everyday life. A physical therapist (PT) can create an action plan to treat these debilitating conditions, encouraging exercises to help people work within new limitations or get back to their routine. With consistent appointments, a PT can increase a patient's strength and range of motion, reducing or eliminating short-term or chronic pain.
How Does It Work?
Think of physical therapy as a lighter form of working out. You'll see many exercises PTs use in a gym (though often at greater weights.) They're not meant to be intensive and put great strain on your muscles. Instead, they're intended to recalibrate. Physical therapy routines strengthen weak muscles around joints or elsewhere in the body that result from or prevent injury or illness. Other types of physical therapy, like massage, can reduce inflammation and ease tension, allowing muscles to function better. Each practice within the field has its approach, but once you've committed to a program, you could experience:
- Improved balance
- Less sports-related injuries
- Better management of age-related issues (arthritis, joint replacements, etc.)
- Mitigating adverse conditions (lung disease, diabetes, strokes, etc.)
- Reduction of chronic pain
- Greater range of motion
Should I Get Physical Therapy?
In short, yes. Really, anyone can benefit from physiotherapy, as it works to prevent injury and related medical conditions. Professional athletes frequently work with a PT to prolong their playability. An elder prone to falls could get into a program to strengthen their balance. Pregnant women can get into physio to minimize pelvic pain as their body adjusts the further they get through pregnancy. Physical therapy is a go-to treatment if you suffer from issues like:
- Strokes, spinal injuries, Parkinson's disease
- Concussions, dislocated joints, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears
- Cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Incontinence, lymphedema, fibromyalgia, constipation
- Diabetes, burn treatment, wound care
Talking to a physician like Dr. Brown will give you the best insight into what sort of physical therapy treatment would be best for you. Many folks believe surgery will be the best option to deal with an injury or chronic pain, but that's not always the case. Doctors will often prescribe physical therapy, as it's less invasive and proven effective.
How Long Does Physical Therapy Take?
Ultimately, it depends on your condition and your commitment. With a physiotherapy plan, you will recover faster when sticking to the routine and adhering to the guidance of the physical therapist. Take the team at TruWell, for example. Our PT will assess your condition to determine what will work best toward eliminating pain. Then the therapist will work with you one-on-one, teaching exercises to practice at home. With these tools and techniques, you can build a routine and start feeling results by sticking to it. Generally, when the treatment works, patients notice improved sleep, a better range of movement with physical activities, and reduced overall pain. The key is always to increase and improve gradually so that there is no further damage and long-term success is achieved.
Thinking physical therapy may be right for you? Get in touch with us and schedule an appointment with our PT, Alain, before your pain or injuries worsen. You can reach Truwell Health today through our office at 727-440-5410 or book an appointment online.