Middle aged, stay at home mum, Sophie Pennington slipped and fell near her washroom door and badly injured her lower back. Later, though her physician did not recommend a surgery, she was advised to undergo regular physical therapy from an approved physical therapist for reducing her back pain and help relieve inflammation of her waist and hip joint.
Physical therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy in many countries, has evolved into a distinct form of heath care practice, which encompasses the treatment, remediation or rehabilitation of injuries and disabilities. It promotes mobility and functional ability of the body, decreases pain and discomfort, and thus improving the overall quality of life. Physical therapy has a history dating back to several centuries and today, it has grown into a profession, which has around five different specializations and uses various techniques for ensuring speedier and better treatment of injuries and joint pain, disabilities and other ailments.
The five primary forms of physical therapy are
- Orthopedic physical therapy: This is the most commonly known form of physical therapy. It usually treats patients with joint injuries, accidents, sports injuries or ailments like arthritis, which mainly involve muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. Hot or cold packs, massage, joint mobilization exercises and electrical stimulations are the major methods of treatments adopted here.
- Geriatric physical therapy: This is a specialized form of physical therapy in which various health issues relating to the older adults are addressed to. These may include arthritis, inability to balance oneself, cancer, and incontinence, joint or hip replacement etc.
- Neurological physical therapy: Neurological physical therapists are specialists with a well-founded knowledge of neurological disorders. They usually treat patients afflicted by brain or spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Paralysis coupled with visual impairment usually leads to loss of independence in such patients and the trained physical therapist helps them in the rehabilitation process and heals the dysfunctions.
- Pediatric physical therapy: This form of physical therapy primarily focuses on the diagnosis and rehabilitation of persons in the under eighteen age group suffering from developmental disorders, skeletal injuries, accidents, or disabilities. Treatments help in enhancing the balance and coordination, building vital strength, increasing stamina and improving mobility. Children with congenital orthopedic problems, developmental delays, spina bifida, etc are treated by pediatric physical therapists
- Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation: This category of rehabilitative physical therapy can benefit patients with heart and pulmonary diseases or those who have undergone surgeries involving heart or pulmonary system. Boosting endurance and improving functional independence are the basic goals of this specialized class of physical therapy.
Physical therapy can offer you a huge bundle of benefits. In fact, most people can benefit from PT and specifically those who have had accidental injuries, are strained with poor body posture and persons who have undergone surgery. The basic advantages of PT to your heath are
- Relief from joint pain, discomfort and strain
- Improvement in the body’s posture, coordination and movement
- Enhances muscle strength and boosting stamina while lessening muscle spasm and swelling of joints
- Decreases stress and promote all round well being
- Improves ability to perform one’s daily work activities
- Rehabilitates person’s with various disabilities and prevent deformity of limbs and increase mobility through various exercises and equipments
- Improves cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
- Educates and enlightens patient and the family about safety awareness and development of a proper exercise regime
The healing time in physical therapy will differ from person to person but it usually takes around a few weeks for a trained physical therapist to assess a patient’s progress in treatment.
Therefore, the next time if your physician advises you a course of PT, do go ahead and reap the multifaceted benefits of physical therapy. This way, you may not only avert a surgery in future but will also improve your health and endurance.
Dr. Peter Ferraro, DC, located in Saddlebrook in Bergen County, is one of the New Jersey’s leading chiropractic experts. Dr. Ferraro, has over 12 years of experience in the chiropractic field and has become nationally recognized for his extensive work using non-surgical decompression technology along with being certified in Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA). Visit Drpferraro.com for more details.