Frequent visits to a physical therapist may be tiresome at the beginning and you can be tempted to discontinue therapy early. You might be wondering what the importance of accomplishing the whole of course of physical therapy is. It can also seem to you that it is a journey where you make two steps forward and one step backward. This is probably not the way most of us want to spend an hour or more of our day, a few times per week. But once you know the benefits you gain by your visits to a physical therapist, you will be a lot more likely to stick it out and gain the full results. Let’s find out why physical therapy is important to your health and why you should follow through with your full prescription.
The truth is that after you have an injury, your body’s muscles become very weak due to the muscle damage and resulting loss of muscle use. You may think doing physical exercise on your own would help, but do you know the risk that can be associated with such exercises? This is where a qualified PT comes in to help you recover slowly and regain your normal healthy function. They know how to safely engage you in exercises that will not cause extra damage to your injured muscles. If you do exercise without their advice, you might end up causing more injuries, which will lengthen the recovery period or lead to less than optimum rehabilitation.
PTs are highly trained to first know how to evaluate the inefficiencies and weaknesses of your biomechanics. They will study your condition and know how to handle it before engaging you in any therapy. They assess your areas of weakness and do strengthening and stretching to make them stronger and increase ranges of motion. Properly done, your body can finally regain the strength it had before your injury. They are also trained to understand surgical procedures and how to do proper post-surgical rehabilitation.
Therapists know how to improve range of motion of restricted joints and muscles by just careful stretching therapy. When resting after any injury, the muscles are likely to become tight and affected by limited mobility. This may cause further injuries and damage to them down the road. You might also experience an alteration in your gate (manner of walking) because muscles are limited to normal stretching. A physical therapist will properly stretch the restricted joints to improve the movement of any injured body parts. The same type of therapy can work very well in breaking up the scar tissue which appears after any surgery. When it is broken up, you will have improved mobility as well as fuller range of motion.
A physical therapist will also give you instruction and recommendations for home exercise and treatment when it is feasible for you to do so without direct guidance of a therapist. For example, they will instruct you on how to use ice as well as heat to have a successful healing process. As simple as this sounds, it can play a very important part in recovery, as most patients are unaware of the correct uses of hot and cold in injury rehabilitation. There may be some exercises that you can do at your home comfortably, but only under prior instructions and directions from a qualified physical therapist.
There are also many types of passive therapy modalities that may be used. Such therapies include ultrasound therapy as well as electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). These are generally used under direct supervision of your PT.
In order to get the maximum benefits of physical therapy, all you need to do is make all of your appointments and follow your therapist’s instructions. It might be a difficult and tiresome activity but it won’t go on forever, and it is very beneficial to regaining and maintaining your health. Look for a well-trained therapist with experience and specialization in your particular condition or injury to be sure to receive the most appropriate care. Your health is important!