What Conditions Can Physical Therapy Help With?
For people without any experience in the healthcare industry, it can be difficult to know precisely the difference between medical professions. And while there is often a lot of crossover, each profession will specialize in a different area of healthcare.
Most of the physical therapy courses that are taught combine different aspects of wellness and health including biology, physiology, anatomy, and medicine. This means that most qualified professionals will be able to assist you with multiple conditions that affect different parts of your body.
If you’re interested in knowing more about what a physical therapist could support you with, below you’ll find a summary of three of the most common conditions they’re adept at treating.
1. Orthopedic Issues
Physical therapy is a vital resource for orthopedic injuries offering comprehensive solutions for a wide array of musculoskeletal issues.
Through targeted exercises, manual techniques, and personalized treatment plans, physical therapy can help to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, strengthen weakened muscles, and enhance overall function. Moreover, physical therapists provide valuable education on proper body mechanics, ergonomics, and lifestyle modifications in order to empower you to manage your condition effectively and prevent future orthopedic problems.
In essence, physical therapy serves as a cornerstone in orthopedic care, facilitating recovery, optimizing musculoskeletal health, and enabling patients to lead active, pain-free lives.
Let’s look at two common orthopedic issues in more detail.
Across the globe, arthritis is an extremely common condition. In fact, estimates suggest that more than 58 million people in the U.S. alone are living with some form of arthritis – this equates to around 24% of the adult population. This condition can be present in many different forms with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis being some of the most common types.
Although there isn’t necessarily a cure for arthritis, there are lots of ways the condition can be treated to manage the pain and lessen the impact it can have on daily life.
By working closely with you, a physical therapist will be able to tailor a specific program to suit your needs and goals.
Physical therapists play an important role in sports at all levels, from supporting the recovery of recreational athletes, to optimizing the performance levels of elite athletes.
There are common sports-related injuries that physical therapists will be able to assist with including ligament sprains, tendinopathy, and muscle tears.
Sporting injuries can be sustained as a direct result of an impact or one-off incident, or they could come on over time due to improper training. In this case, as well as being able to support your recovery, a qualified physical therapist will also be able to suggest alternative techniques to prevent any injuries from recurring in the future.
2. Pelvic Health Issues
Did you know that there are physical therapists that can help with issues related to your pelvic floor?
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in addressing pelvic floor issues by providing targeted and non-invasive interventions to improve muscle function and overall pelvic health.
Pelvic floor physical therapists specialize in treating conditions such as pelvic pain, pain during intercourse, urinary/fecal incontinence, constipation, urinary frequency, and pelvic organ prolapse. This is not an exhaustive list but it does give you a good idea about the common conditions that pelvic floor physical therapy can treat.
3. Neurological conditions
Physical therapy can also support people living with conditions that affect their brain and nervous system. Neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s, stroke, and MS can have major impacts on the way that the body functions. These conditions can make certain movements more difficult which in turn can limit an individual’s ability to maintain their independence.
This is where a physical therapist can intervene by suggesting treatments or exercises that will help patients to retain their range of motion, balance, mobility, and muscle strength. Physical therapists will develop a specific treatment plan depending on the nature and severity of the condition.
These treatments can have a major part to play in helping people to maintain their quality of life.
In terms of the neurological system, physical therapy can also help with things like nerve pain.
Can physical therapy help to improve your life?
In this post, we’ve touched on just a handful of the most common ways physical therapy can help you to live a more fulfilling life. There are more conditions and issues that physical therapy can help with that are not listed here, but this will help to give you a general idea on what physical therapists can treat.
Really, everyone can benefit from physical therapy, even if just from an educational standpoint. You can see a physical therapist in the same way that you would see your primary care doctor for an annual wellness visit. This can be helpful at preventing musculoskeletal issues from occurring in the future. This is called preventative physical therapy.
Preventative physical therapy involves personalized assessments and exercise programs designed to enhance strength, flexibility, and mobility thereby reducing the risk of future musculoskeletal problems. Preventative physical therapy also emphasizes education on proper body mechanics and ergonomics, teaching individuals how to perform daily activities and work-related tasks safely. By identifying potential areas of concern and addressing them early, preventative physical therapy empowers individuals to lead healthier, more active lives while minimizing the likelihood of future injuries or chronic conditions.
In conclusion, physical therapy offers a comprehensive spectrum of care, from alleviating existing ailments to proactively preventing future issues through preventative physical therapy. Whether it’s aiding recovery from orthopedic injuries, addressing neurological disorders, addressing pelvic health concerns, or empowering individuals with tools for long-term well-being, physical therapists play a crucial role in optimizing health and promoting a life of movement, function, and vitality.
The versatility of physical therapy emphasizes its importance as a fundamental component of holistic healthcare, enabling individuals to live their best, pain-free lives.