What to Expect in Physical Therapy
Physical therapy provides diagnosis, treatment and take home recommendations on how to improve one's physical strength and flexibility for the long term. It can concentrate on geriatric needs or sports injuries to improve coordination and endurance for lasting functional benefits.
Physical therapy is intended for the improvement of the quality of a patient's mobility and internal function therein. The therapist works with observation, physical examination, and specialized equipment to diagnose how the bones and muscles are affecting the lack of flexibility and mobility. These issues can result from external injury due to accident; neurological, orthopedic, sports, or cardiovascular condition/illness; or, after surgery after a break or surgery to prevent or improve one's health from illness. The therapists work closely with the each patient and their support system of family, doctors, and care givers to maintain physical improvement over the long term. They understand that most patients have even a little trepidation about how this process works. An extremely simplified way of describing it is that it's harder in the beginning than in the end, and it's all well worth it when your patient enough to find out just what your body can do.
When your doctor recommends or prescribes physical therapy, but you've never gone before, you don't know what to expect. Will it hurt? As stated above, it will be difficult in the beginning because you are training your body to work differently than it's used to working. From the inside you are building muscle and asking those muscles to work harder so that they can enact as much change as possible as quickly as possible on your circulation and flexibility. The improved bodily function from the exercises and stretches will inevitably improve overall oxygenation of the body and release of feel good hormones that help in the healing process after injury or illness.
Physical therapy includes exercise and healthful advice that is applied as a part of a therapeutic plan to specifically improve each patient's injury, illness, or disorder or to help prevent further health problems. Relaxation techniques, stretching, core (trunk) muscle strengthening, water aerobics, electrode assisted muscle stimulation, heat in a warm up phase and ice in a cool down phase can be implemented along with monitored equipment use. All of which are specifically designed to help each patient combat their particular condition establish comfortable use of their body wholly. Therapists start off with determining the patient's strength and range of motion then they apply simple exercises that get progressively more strenuous to really push the muscles and extend flexibility while improving the patient's fitness level.
The amount to which this medical assistance can impact your life will vary from person to person but it will always make a significant impact on improving your body's circulation, overall movement and strength: quality of life. For example, it can help with injury to the smallest or most significant parts of the body such as soothing the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome or rehabilitation of one's ability to walk after spinal surgery. Whether the patient is elderly, injured and recovering from an illness, the water aerobics, weighted equipment, and electrode muscle stimulation help to reverse atrophy, prevent illness and assist with healing for men and women with physician recommendation of the lasting health benefits of physical therapy.
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Written by: Antoinette Ayana