A physical therapist is there to help you when you:
- Have trouble moving
- Experience pain
- Need help functioning
- Want to prevent disability
There are many different situations when a physical therapist can help improve the quality of your life. Some examples are:
- You’ve been in a car accident
- You are recovering from a hip replacement surgery
- You recently had a heart attack
- You can’t bend down to tie your shoes
- You’ve slipped on some ice, and your back has been hurting for the last 2 months
- During your regular workout, you are experiencing pain
- Your child is having trouble with balance
- You or a loved one has an intellectual or developmental delay
- You’re having trouble with your daily activities
A physical therapist can help with an injury
If you have been injured, a physical therapist can help you reduce pain and regain a higher level of function. This could include anything like a sports injury, a motor vehicle accident, or even a sore neck from looking at your phone or computer all day.
Some of the common injuries treated by physical therapists are:
- Ligament sprains – like a sprained ankle
- Muscle strains
- Inflammation or swelling in a tendon, also known as tendinitis
- Back pain
A physical therapist can see you immediately after you are injured and set up a treatment plan to prevent the injury from becoming a chronic problem.
A physical therapist can help you recover from surgery
Surgery, even when it is planned, is a form of trauma to your body. You will need help to relearn how to move your body to get back in the swing of your day-to-day activities. Physical therapy can help you to:
- Speed-up the healing process
- Recover faster
- Reduce your overall pain levels
- Minimize the formation of scar tissue
- Move more easily
If you can start therapy quickly following major surgery, you will most likely have a shorter hospital stay and a more satisfying recovery.
You can talk to your doctor or physical therapist about setting up a treatment plan to accompany:
- Hip surgery
- Knee replacement
- Shoulder replacement/surgery
- Elbow surgery
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- Back surgery
- Carpal tunnel surgery
Research has shown that starting physical therapy prior to surgery is associated with better health outcomes.
A physical therapist can help you with rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is defined as enhancing or restoring function and quality of life. A physical therapist can help you rehabilitate after a variety of health events. You might need help with:
- Building up your strength
- Relearning skills
- Finding new ways of doing things
- Teaching your child how to function well with a chronic condition or disability
A physical therapist can provide therapy for:
- Recovery from a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack
- Cancer recovery
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- Cerebral palsy
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Developmental delays
A physical therapist can help you at any point in your life. If your physical condition is limiting your quality of life at any age or stage, consider getting a referral for physical therapy.
A physical therapist can help you as you age
Aging can bring a unique set of challenges to your physical abilities. A physical therapist can assist with planning an exercise routine to keep you functioning well.
- Preventing falls
- Maintaining balance
- Increasing coordination
- Building and keeping flexibility
- Increasing strength
- Increasing range of motion
You can use physical therapy as part of your toolbox to improve or maintain your health. Physical therapy can be a vital part of maintaining your independence and enjoying your golden years.
A physical therapist can help you with pain
Anytime you or your doctor are considering a prescription medication for pain management, you should consider physical therapy.
The American Physical Therapist Association states that doctor-prescribed opioids can mask pain instead of treating the root cause. Patients should be wary that opioids are associated with numerous potential side effects as well as the potential for abuse or overdose.
Physical therapy can help to reduce pain with physical activity chosen specifically for your health condition. Instead of masking the pain, physical therapy treats pain by using movement and hands-on care. Your physical therapist also can teach you how to reduce the chance of re-injuring yourself.
Whenever you are in a situation where:
- you need extra support for your day-to-day function
- you are in pain
- you are facing a challenging health condition
Consider talking with your physician about whether an Independence Health Services physical therapist can help get you moving and feeling your best.