The Many Benefits of Physical Therapy
Here’s a GREAT post by HealthResource4u about physical therapy and the amazing effect it can have when recovering from injury.
The practice of physical therapy has been widely used to treat pain and injury since its origin in ancient Greece where it was believed that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, incorporated it into his medical treatments. Today, physical therapy is one of the most promising careers in terms of job growth as more people turn to the holistic form of medicine, and for good reason: With proper application, physical therapy can naturally treat, heal, and prevent a vast array of injuries and disabilities without the need for invasive surgery or reliance on pain medication.
Physical therapy is used to bring relief from many conditions, including back pain, muscle stiffness, arthritis, sports injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and even stroke. By working directly with the body to help it heal itself, physical therapists not only relieve pain and treat injury, but also restore a patient’s body function and movement which improves overall health and well-being. In fact, when the body is functioning at its most optimal level, it can even prevent further injuries from arising in the future. But physical therapy is so much more than treating and preventing pain. Through its natural approach to medicine, personalized treatment plans, and focus on education, physical therapy provides countless benefits for those who utilize it.
A Natural Approach to Healing and Pain Relief
A key benefit that differentiates physical therapy from traditional medical treatment is the focus on working with the body to naturally heal itself. Studies show that physical therapy can be just as effective at treating injuries that were once believed could only be healed through surgery. Rather than cover up the symptoms with pain medication or endure invasive surgery, physical therapy treats the causes of the pain at the source. This not only helps the body heal itself naturally on its own, but also helps the body grow stronger as a whole. Physical therapists understand the body’s amazing ability to heal itself, and with the right guidance and treatment, it can relieve pain and improve function without the need for traditional medical treatment.
A large number of injuries are caused by misalignment of the body and improper body function, including poor posture, irregular muscle development, and improper body mechanics. The physical therapy approach will make sure the body itself is functioning as it should. In the end, a healthy body is a body that will be less inclined to become injured and more able to heal itself.
In addition to working with the body to naturally heal itself, another significant benefit of physical therapy is individualized treatment. Each patient has certain needs that need to be taken into account when being treated for an injury, and each person may respond differently to physical therapy. Depending upon the patient’s body type, habits, range of motion, and injury, a physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan and will closely monitor each patient to ensure they form the correct habits, alignments, and movement patterns. This personalized approach helps patients heal properly the first time without the need for surgery or further medical attention at a later time.
There are two forms of therapy physical therapists will employ during the treatment process: active and passive therapy. Depending upon the patient’s injury and medical history, either one or a combination of both methods are used to treat a patient’s pain or injury.
Passive therapy: includes treatments that do not require patient participation, such as spinal manipulation, heat/ice therapy, myofascial release, or ultrasound therapy. These treatments are usually used to relieve pain by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow and typically require direct assistance from the physical therapist.
Active therapy: on the other hand, involves treatments that require active participation from the patient, such as therapeutic exercise, stretching techniques, and aquatic therapy. These treatments help rebuild muscles that support vital areas of the body, in turn improving range of motion and decreasing pain. Furthermore, active therapy can typically be done by the patient on their own without the aid of a physical therapist.
Incorporating both passive and active therapy into a patient’s treatment process is a critical part of a person’s recovery from their unique injury or ailment. This allows physical therapists to treat patients naturally, efficiently, and without further harm being done to the body. This also helps the body grow stronger as a whole, which can prevent re-injury to the affected area while reducing the probability of other injuries in the future.
Although the treatment of an injury or ailment is what brings a person to seek help from a physical therapist, one of the primary goals is to educate the patient to help them take care of themselves. In fact, a physical therapist’s greatest hope is to never need to see you again once treatment is complete.
Now don’t take that the wrong way, it is meant in the most positive and endearing way possible. You see, physical therapists want to give patients the power and the tools they need to be as functionally independent as possible. This means that although they treat pain and symptoms through hands-on therapy, they want to make sure the patient has the education and means to care for themselves once they go back to their normal life.
So although they love working with you, their greatest achievement is to have you never need to see them again for your ailment or injury. This will be achieved by educating patients in developing a healthy lifestyle, understanding what caused their injury, and incorporating exercise methods that can help prevent their injury from occurring again in the future.