Four Ways Physical Therapy Changes Lives
People often turn to physical therapy in response to specific health problems, such as after a debilitating car accident or for arthritis management. It’s true that physical therapy is often used as a reactive treatment, however, physical therapy can also be a proactive way to promote comprehensive wellness in patients. Let’s take a closer look at some lesser known ways in which physical therapy can help change people’s lives.
1. Pain Relief
Whether patients are recuperating from surgery, recovering from a sport injury, or coping with chronic pain, physical therapy can address the issues causing pain – and correct them. In fact, physical therapists use a range of tools to help reduce pain, including stretching and strengthening exercises; heat and cold therapy; and manual manipulation — all targeted at pain points. The result? Over time, patients get stronger, more flexible, and feel less pain.
2. Improved Mobility
Injuries, arthritis, and even disuse can lead to range-of-motion issues and reduced mobility. Unfortunately, this can become a vicious cycle: the less people use their joints and muscles, the poorer their function becomes. Physical therapists offer hands-on treatment as well as at-home exercises aimed at improving functionality through better joint and muscle mobility.
Physical therapists can also introduce patients to assistive devices, such as canes and crutches to further restore safe walking and other desired mobility outcomes.
But the advantages of enhanced mobility do not end there. The stronger people feel, the more their confidence — and quality of life — grows.
3. Better Balance
One out of three older adults falls every year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Factor in the rapidly aging population — 10,000 people in this country turn 65 every day! — and the need for fall prevention measures becomes even more profound.
While PT can help patients recover from the millions of fall injuries which occur every year, it can also be an invaluable intervention against future falls. Because seniors are particularly prone to balance issues caused by everything from joint replacements to osteoporosis, physical therapy is a critical part of keeping seniors safe.
However, the advantages of PT are far from limited to the senior set. While it’s possible to specialize in geriatric physical therapy, many physical therapists treat a broad range of physical disabilities while others specialize in other areas, including pediatrics, sports medicine, orthopaedics, cardiopulmonary, and neurology.
Physical therapy aides are an invaluable part of the healthcare team for patients dealing with many different medical conditions.
4. Enhanced Daily Function
While we often think of the benefits of PT as pertaining just to muscles and joints, this treatment is also successfully used in other forms of rehabilitation. In getting patients up and moving while boosting both their endurance levels and` their confidence, physical therapy can also improve everything from diabetes management to heart and lung function.
One last thing to keep in mind? No two patients — or physical therapy regimens — are the same. In tailoring a PT program to the individual needs of each patient, physical therapists have the unique potential to help transform the lives of their patients. Not only that, but as patients abilities change and grow, their treatment plans can evolve along with them to promote continual progress. To learn more about getting the comprehensive training you need to starting changing lives by becoming a physical therapy aide, request information today.