What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is a medical science that specializes in relieving pain, promoting healing from injury or weakness, and allows one to perform better at work, play or leisure activities. Pain relief is achieved by all-natural means that do not cause side-effects or involve the use of drugs. The following are some examples of what we do:
- Pressure-Point Release In this procedure the therapist searches for muscles that are actively in spasm or causing pain. They then they apply pressure to the muscle for 1-2 minutes. Initially it will cause soreness but that should diminish steadily. This helps to normalize the muscles and improve circulation in that area.
- Soft-Tissue Mobilization The application of movement and force to muscles, ligaments, nerves or other soft-tissue for the purpose of promoting healing and normalization.The end goal is to reduce pain and restore motion. Sometimes mild discomfort is noticed during the procedure.
- Joint Mobilization The application of movement and force to a joint for the purpose of increasing motion and reducing pain. Sometimes mild discomfort may accompany the procedure.
- Kinetic Activity Guided specific activity and movement to restore normal muscle tone and joint range of motion leading to overall improved daily function.
- Therapeutic Exercises Strengthening and balancing the muscles around joints is essential for good movement, stability and pain relief. Physical therapists are the leading experts in helping those with pain, arthritis, obesity, diabetes and heart disease get fit and strong safely.
There are many specialties within the physical therapy profession. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sports Medicine
- Women’s Health
- Industrial/Work Hardening
- Ergonomics & Injury Prevention
- Strengthening & Conditioning
- Oncology Rehab
- Certified Hand Therapy
- Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehab
Even though there are many specialties and settings within the realm of ‘physical therapy’, most all physical therapists are trained to accelerate the body’s own healing process, hasten recovery, promote better movement, foster return to activities and promote quality of life. There are no side-effects, no drugs, or invasive procedures involved with physical therapy. It is typically the first and best option for the majority of muscle/joint/nerve/tendon problems, even those that might require surgery since therapy can shorten the recovery time and improve the outcome of the surgery. If you have any questions, just ask your physical therapist today!