If you have recently sustained an injury, you may be wondering what your options are. There are so many different avenues to travel down when it comes to pain management, and knowing which one to choose can be daunting. Fortunately, a physical therapist can help answer your questions, and give you direction on how to treat your injuries.
What Is A Physical Therapist?
A physical therapist is a healthcare professional in the field of physical therapy, who assists people to restore, maintain and maximize their strength, function, movement, and overall well-being. In short, physical therapists study the science of movement.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a physical therapist is ‘a trained and licensed medical professional with experience in diagnosing physical abnormalities, restoring physical function and mobility, maintaining physical function, and promoting physical activity and proper function.’
In addition to regaining mobility and function and managing pain, physical therapy also focuses on helping you prevent further complications as you recover.
You may need physical therapy for several conditions at once, and therefore need a multidisciplinary approach to your care. If you don’t fully recover from an existing condition, or make progress toward a more mobile, pain-free lifestyle, you can easily develop secondary physical issues.
When Should I Go See A Physical Therapist?
If your injury has started affecting your everyday functionality, now is the time to book an appointment for physical therapy. However, you don’t have to have an injury to undergo physical therapy. A doctor may refer you after surgery such as a hip replacement, or an event such as a heart attack or stroke.
After an injury or illness, or when you have a physical disability, you may benefit from a variety of methods that help restore movement and improve your quality of life. At Maragal Medical, we provide rehabilitation for issues with muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and bones to help you regain mobility and minimize pain.
What Can A Physical Therapist Help With?
Physiotherapists focus on both prevention and rehabilitation. Treatment can be for problems caused by injury, disease or disability. Here are some examples:
- Neck and back pain caused by problems in the muscles and skeleton
- Problems in the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments, such as arthritis and the after-effects of amputation
- Lung problems such as asthma
- Disability as a result of heart problems
- Pelvic issues, such as bladder and bowel problems related to childbirth
- Loss of mobility because of trauma to the brain or spine, or due to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
- Fatigue, pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of muscle strength, for example during cancer treatment, or palliative care
What Will My Physical Therapy Treatment Plan Look Like?
Everyone’s condition and circumstances are different, and a physical therapist will create a customized plan that works best for your unique needs and health goals. Typically, rehabilitation after injury or illness includes:
- A functional exam to customize your therapeutic exercise routine
- Therapeutic exercise for regaining strength, mobility, and range of motion
- Conservative, non-narcotic pain treatment and management
You may feel like you’re doing a lot of hard work at times, and not seeing results. However, your physical therapist will monitor your progression each step of the way and prescribe a combination of therapies and movements that contribute to your overall recovery in a healthy and effective manner.
Whichever way a patient come to a physical therapist, they can expect to:
- Undergo a physical exam and evaluation, including a health history and certain testing procedures, including evaluation of posture, movement and flexibility, and of muscle and joint motion and performance
- Receive a clinical diagnosis, prognosis, plan of care and short and long term goals
- Receive physical therapy treatment and intervention based on the therapist’s evaluation and diagnosis
- Receive self-management recommendations
The Benefits Of Physical Therapy
There are numerous reasons to consider physical therapy as part of your treatment plan, including:
- Pain management with reduced need for opioids
- Avoiding surgery
- Improved mobility and movement
- Recovery from injury or trauma
- Recovery from stroke or paralysis
- Fall prevention
- Improved balance
- Management of age-related medical problems
Finding a physical therapist who is compatible with your needs can involve a number of factors, including insurance acceptance, specialty and reason for treatment, and geographical location. To learn more about our physical therapy services, contact Maragal Medical today!