Physical therapists help patients manage and recover from debilitating physical conditions that leaves them unable to function normally. The purpose of physical therapy is to help people who have conditions that limit their ability to function in their daily activities. A physical therapist uses many techniques and devices to assist clients with recovering physical strength and range of motion, improving mobility of injured body parts, managing pain, improving posture, and managing physically debilitating conditions. Conditions patients normally suffer can be the result of an injury, illness, or chronic disease such as diabetes. Therapeutic equipment can include ultraviolet and infrared lamps, EMS machines, whirlpool baths, and ultrasonic machines.
Physical therapy consists of a therapist assessing a patient's ability to function, monitoring motor function, improving balance and coordination, increasing muscle strength, improving range of motion, creating treatment plans for the rehabilitation facility as well as at home, and recording a patient's progress. They also instruct patients on how to use therapeutic medical devices such as canes and crutches, wheelchairs, braces, artificial limbs...etc.
Many people are not sure if they are in need of physical therapy. Physical therapy can be used for all neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunctions. If you have any of the following conditions, you may require physical therapy:
Sports Related Injuries: Sports or exercise injuries can be the result of training mishaps, incorrect warm up methods, trauma from a fall or other accident resulting in a physical injury.
Chronic Diseases such as Arthritis and Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis occurs when the joint cartilage covering the ends of the bone wears away. Arthritis means inflammation of the joints. There is distinct pain and difficulty moving with these conditions.
Surgery Issues: One may require muscle conditioning and strengthening before or after surgery.
Chronic Fatigue and Pain: An example would be a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. Fibromyalgia is an aching condition characterized by extensive soft tissue pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and regions of tenderness in the body.
Balance or Mobility Problems: This problem can result from a head injury, brain condition, or trauma resulting from an accident.
Sprains and Muscle Injuries: These injuries can result from slip and fall accidents, repetitive motion injuries, and other incidents causing a physical injury. This can include such injured areas as the arms, shoulder, knees, feet, ankles, hand and wrist problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. Neck pain is also an area that can be treated with physical therapy.
Lower Back Pain: This can result from muscle strains, ligament strains, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, Fibromyalgia and more.