A proper physical therapy program helps patients reduce pain, improve mobility, increase flexibility, and overall improve quality of life. The benefits of PT are broad and include:
- Restoring strength and day-to-day function after an injury or surgery
- Improving overall function, flexibility, or balance
- Maintaining a healed injury to prevent re-injury
- Preventing disability or surgery
- Relieving chronic pain
- Rehabilitation after stroke or catastrophic injury
- Managing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, or others
- Adapting to artificial limbs or assistive devices such as canes or walkers
For post-injury patients, PT can help with recovery, returning to normal function, and maintaining the area against potential future injury. Since injuries can happen under multiple circumstances, we will focus on the most common injuries that lead to physical therapy: Athletic or catastrophic.
Athletic Injury Patients
Whether the patient is in grade school or competes in a more professional sports setting, injuries are a looming specter for physically demanding activities. A misplaced step or overuse can result in injury, taking a player off the field for extended periods of time. After initial treatment, rest is the first prescribed method of recovery. But once the affected area is on the mend, properly administered physical therapy can strategically strengthen the injured area, increase flexibility (or rather, return it to previous flexibility), and help the athlete return to day-to-day function.
However, it’s important to not only complete the PT program properly, but also never overexert oneself while on the road to recovery. As society perception has it, athletes are often stereotyped as highly motivated to the point of fault. This can lead to attempted to “speed up” the recovery process – like running an extra mile to build stamina, maybe completing PT exercises faster or doing more repetitions than recommended will yield the same gain. But an injury must be healed by the right ingredients, much like baking: Just the right about of salt makes a perfect cake, but too much and you have to start over again from scratch. So for nursing injuries back to health, it’s recommended to complete a PT program as prescribed in order to yield the intended results.
Altogether, PT as prescribed by a certified medical professional is a safe and recommended curriculum of recovery, and can be prescribed for injuries of many types to aid the road to recovery. If you feel you may benefit from physical therapy after an injury and would like to know more, contact your primary care doctor today to discuss your local care options.