Physical therapy is a healing practice that employs exercises, muscular force, and physical agents to fix and recover from injury or chronic pain. It is recommended by doctors in the following cases:
- To relieve pain or alleviate its severity
- To restore or improve muscle control, increase muscle agility, decrease stiffness, and enhance muscle flexibility
- To recover from an injury, an accident, or a surgery
- To control conditions like diabetes, arthritis, stroke, vertigo and heart diseases.
A physical therapist studies your medical history before deciding on a routine for your recovery, and an appropriate form of treatment is chosen for you. Physical therapy is a broad term and it employs various ways to treat conditions. It includes:
1) Exercise Therapy
The focus of exercise therapy is to strengthen the muscles and joints. By prescribing various drills, the flexibility and the range of motion of your muscles are enhanced. The tasks suggested also aid in reducing pain, facilitating blood flow to the muscles, improving bone density, and maintaining an ideal posture. A few exercises that are used in this method are cross body stretches, spine windmills, side body extensions, and knee stretches and presses.
2) Manual Therapy
Manual therapy requires the therapist to apply muscular pressure on the patient’s sore areas to soothe and ease the pain. This technique is mostly used for swellings and muscle knots in the body, especially in the back and the neck area. It helps loosen up stiffened joints, allows easy blood circulation, and reduces swelling, inflammation or tension in the muscle tissues. Soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, strain and counterstrain, joint mobilization, muscle energy techniques are some of the practices used in manual therapy.
3) Physical Agents
This form of treatment uses physical entities like thermal, electrical, light, sound, and mechanical stimulations to help with pain reduction. These techniques are employed in cases where exercise or manual therapy cannot help. Various forms of superficial heat and cold applications are used for deep tissue healing. Mechanical energy of the ultrasound and varying degree of electrical pulses are used for nerve simulations in the body. The most common form of physical agent used is the electrophysical.
4) Wound Care
Wound care is generally used in a hospital setting to help patients cope up after surgeries. Necrotic, diabetic, chronic, arterial, and non-healing surgical wounds are treated by this form of therapy. Therapists closely analyze your medical condition and work with your physician to help in the quick recovery of the injuries.
Physical therapy can be applied in a lot of disciplines like orthopedics, neurological, cardiopulmonary, and geriatric therapy. Your therapist may opt for a single healing practice or a mix of them depending on the problem to be fixed. Read here to know more about other healing benefits of physical therapy. You can also book a consultation at InHome Physical Therapy and Massage for therapy sessions that we offer.