Physical therapy is considered an allied health profession geared toward improving a patient’s physical functions that may have been brought on by injury, illness, or congenital issues that interrupt Activities of Daily Living. These ADL’s can be simple tasks like getting in and out of bed, walking up and down stairs, cleaning around the house, doing laundry, or just being able to play with your kids/grandkids. Physical therapists use an individual’s history during a detailed physical examination to develop a diagnosis and create a personalized management plan to use skilled treatment techniques in order to best treat the patient. The goal with physical therapy is to help the patient regain strength, mobility and overall independence as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is vital for the patient to put their trust in their physical therapist to maximize rehab potential.
Physical therapists will teach patients how to prevent and manage their conditions in order to achieve long-term benefits. PT’s will promote ways to enhance the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. Physical therapists use skilled techniques like manual therapy, joint mobilization, modalities (i.e.-electric stim, ultrasound, cold laser, etc.), therapeutic exercises, patient education, and more throughout the treatment plan.
Physical therapy should be focused on individualized care and manual therapy, in combination with advanced treatment methods that are used with every patient to help them achieve their goals – often returning to a prior (or better!) level of function and a life without pain. Common issues patients go to physical therapy for include (but not limited to): lower back pain, sciatica, neck stiffness/pain, joint pain/stiffness (knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, etc), sports rehabilitation and balance issues; as well as pre & post surgical rehabilitation from joint replacements, sports-related injuries, or accidents.
The important thing to note is that physical therapy is a natural way to get better. There’s no reason to rely on pain meds to get through the pain one may be having when physical therapy is an option. If there’s something that is physically hampering the way of living that you’re accustomed to, PT can get you back on your feet and have you doing the things you love to do.