Seeing a specialist is always one of the most important things to do when you experience pains and aches in the body. These experts will help determine what’s wrong and offer remedies and cures. Aside from doctors, physical therapists are also reliable experts in the field. They'll address your physiological concerns, and offer you the many benefits of physical therapy.
Despite the popularity of the term, though, the details about physical therapy is still a bit hazy to some people. So, to help you understand it better, this guide might just help you out.
Physical therapy is a medical procedure that aims to improve or restore a person’s ability to move and perform functional activities. Also known as Physiotherapy, it involves different techniques depending on what the body requires. Assisted exercises and massage therapy are probably the most popular forms of physical therapy today.
Being a medical procedure, physical therapy is often performed by professionals. They’re known with different titles. They can be referred to as physical therapists (PTs), kinesiologists, or physiotherapists among others. No matter what the name, though, they are trained specialists who can facilitate necessary treatment.
How do you benefit from going through physical therapy? Here are a few reasons why this process is something worth checking out:
Independent movement is a crucial sign of good health. It’s also necessary to live a quality life as it won’t affect your ability to earn a living.
Freedom is also something mobility can offer. If you can’t move on your own, there’s a good chance that you’re suffering from an illness. As a result, you’ll have to rely on someone or something else to move about.
With physical therapy, an expert will address whatever’s hindering you from moving on your own. They will be able to effectively identify what’s causing your mobility issues and treat it accordingly.
Coordination, balance, and flexibility are just a few of the capacities that physical therapy can help improve. It can also help strengthen patients. Age-related conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis are also addressed.
If your body is not at its top shape, you’ll know right away because it will hurt. Physical therapy helps deal with these pains and aches through different techniques. Massage therapy is the most popular method used for this as it helps relieve tension in the muscles and improve blood circulation. Ultrasound and electric stimulation also help as they can restore joint and muscle function.
Limited physical movement can snowball to more problems later on. As the body requires exercise to perform well, inactivity can cause serious complications. By trying to improve your mobility, you can reap the same benefits of staying active.
Massage therapy can also help guarantee your good health. It helps you fight off stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies also show that it can boost immunity and control blood pressure levels. It’s also used to manage heart and lung diseases which have complications that can affect your mobility.
Despite being a passive exercise, physical therapy can also be very useful for your muscles. It can strengthen and stretch muscles which will allow you independent movement. It can also improve blood and air circulation in your muscles, increase your joint flexibility, and stimulate lymph flow.
Physical therapy is also known to help muscle recovery or prevent an injury. With the right techniques, it can reduce your muscles’ inflammation faster and more effectively. It can also teach you how to avoid damaging your muscle tissues.
Pain medications and surgeries are some of the most viable treatments for certain ailments. Sometimes, though, physical therapy can be offered as an alternative.
Many deem this method safer, though. With physical therapy, you won't have risks of drug dependence. You also won't have to spend a fortune to go under the knife. These make PT a more attractive option there are for certain conditions.
As physical therapy can help relieve pain, you’ll surely feel better after going through a good session. Manual therapy is also the best technique for relaxation. It will help loosen up stiff and tired joints and muscles. It can also increase circulation in your muscles, so aches will effectively go away.
As a result, you can get in a much better mood. This can also reduce your anxiety and even help improve your sleep quality. All of which will put you in a better position to take on the different daily challenges.
One of the best benefits of physical therapy for seniors is that it can help boost the quality of life of seniors. Being able to move independently can make their daily lives a lot easier and a lot less stressful.
Aside from this, a study has shown that massage therapy can help the elderly residents of hospice and palliative care facilities by making them feel more relaxed and comfortable. Through massages, their stress, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even nausea can be reduced. It has also shown signs of improving their sleep.
What might surprise some people is the fact that physical therapy can also be very useful in managing the effects of cancer treatments. In the past, patients with chronic illnesses are actually advised to minimize their physical activities. It’s quite the opposite nowadays, though, thanks to the latest discoveries in the field.
According to experts, physical therapy helps cancer patients through various ways. Pain management is at the top of the list as it can keep the muscles strong and mobile. It can also reduce the effects of cancer-related fatigue and assist in lymphedema management. A study has also shown that physical therapy can somewhat alleviate the patient’s suffering.
Many think that physical therapy is only for those who have become severely injured and need to relearn how to use their body once again. This isn’t true, though. Physical therapy is performed through different methods, depending on the need. These include exercise therapy, electrotherapy, manual therapy, biomechanics, and Kinesiology. While physical therapy is a much-needed part of the body’s rehabilitation after some serious injuries, illnesses, and trauma, it can also come in handy for lots of other people.
Physical therapy benefits athletes, too. This procedure is a crucial part of injury recovery. They don’t just address traumas directly but they also assist in ensuring proper healing.
Athletes can also see PTs during training. These professionals are well-versed in the ways of proper and quick recovery. Having a PT on speed dial will benefit those who are preparing for a major competition. With their help, you won’t just quickly recover from training, but you might just also prevent injuries from taking place.
Seniors will also benefit largely from physical therapy. Aging can do a great number on your joints and muscles, especially if it hasn’t been used to its full capacity in a while. Injuries and certain illnesses can also diminish the elderly from moving independently.
With physical therapy, however, they can learn the right methods that will help them gain their strength and flexibility back. By doing this, seniors can get back to moving on their own again. This can guarantee their higher quality of life through independence and mobility.
Physical therapy also offers pain relief. By applying pressure on the sore spots and massaging them, the soft tissue is manipulated effectively, relieving stiffness and inflammation. Massage therapy is often used for this purpose. So, if you often experience muscle pains and aches you might also find this form of physical therapy suitable to your needs.
While other forms of physical therapy are strictly implemented by professionals, massage therapy can be done at home with hand-held massagers and other tools. These products come in handy for those who often find themselves experiencing minor muscle aches and pains in their bodies.
Although not serious, these aches and pains can still hinder your movements and prevent you from performing regular tasks. This makes them still worth looking into. In cases where muscle inactivity, old age, and stress are among the major causes of your body pains, a hand-held massager or tool can already be a safe and quick solution to your woes.
DIY massage therapy may seem complicated, but with so many products designed to help you out, you don’t really have to worry. You can actually find hand-held massagers and tools that are designed for different purposes. With these products, you can skip the seeing a PT if you don't really need strict supervision.
To help you find the ideal solution to your woes, here’s a quick rundown of some of the different kinds of self-massagers and physical therapy tools available:
Heat therapy is a common physical therapy technique that you can do at home. It can relax the muscles, improve blood flow in the sore area, help heal body tissues, and even prepare the muscles and joints for some activity. Heating pads are widely used in this method for the longer lasting, consistent output they offer.
For better results, PTs recommend using moist heat instead of just regular heat. This kind penetrates the muscles better so they offer greater results.
If you have weakened or lost control over your hands’ grip, surgery or regular exercises with tools like grip strengtheners are your treatment options. The latter, of course, is better preferred by many as the risks are lower. These products come in different designs and styles, so you always have a choice which one suits your needs and capabilities.
For lots of people who aren’t really into fitness activities, foam rollers are some of the products they’re too shy to ask about at the sporting store. They look more like pool noodles that actual exercise tools to lots of people.
However, foam rollers can really come in handy if you’re exercising heavily or training for a competition. These simple-looking tools can actually help relieve sore muscles and aid its recovery effectively. Athletes can really benefit from them because of this.
These are possibly some of the most popular kinds of hand-held massagers in the market today. With lots of people suffering from bad posture and mattresses that already need replacements, back pains are definitely some of the most prevalent kind of body ache today.
Equipped with a special design and several functionalities, these products will let you massage your back by yourself. It’s efficient and reliable, making them really worth your while. Due to their configuration, it’s also easy to use some of these items for other body parts so you can get even more value out of these items.
As there are tons of different structural problems people’s feet can have, foot aches are also pretty common issues. The physical benefits of massage therapy can easily deal with them. Foot massagers, like back massagers, are convenient solutions to such woes as you won’t require anybody’s assistance to give yourself relief.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS is another popular physical therapy method that you can now execute at home safely and effectively. TENS machines have already become widely available, so if your body pains require a different kind of muscle stimulation, you can be sure to find a great product that will suit your needs.
However, it’s still best to see a specialist first before applying high amounts of pressure on your body. This is even more important if you intend to use electric hand-held massagers to deal with body aches and pains at home. There are a few dangers that you have to be aware of before taking advantage of physical therapy, especially the home use tools.
To help you use physical therapy and related home use products safely, you should keep these things in mind:
Not because massage therapy is a form of physical therapy does it mean that you can just get massages and hope to get better from your condition. Oftentimes this method is only used as a supplemental treatment for certain ailments. At most, massage therapy can only provide relief from muscle pains but you still have to locate and address the actual cause of the pain.
One major mistake a lot of people commit is they tend to think that the more intense the massage therapy is, the faster the pains and aches will go away. This, of course, isn’t true. Your muscle tissues are not made of steel, so they can still get damaged if a high amount of pressure is applied. This is even more dangerous if the muscles are already strained to begin with.
As a result, you can experience even more injuries, tenderness, worse soreness, and muscle damage. In extreme cases, poisoning has even occurred. So if you don’t want your condition to worsen, do not go overboard with the massaging.
The body is a complex thing, so don’t think that just because you have a stiff neck does it mean that you’ve just overstretched your muscles. Sometimes, pains can be caused by blood clots, internal lacerations, and even broken bones. Not every condition can be treated by physical therapy.
To be safe, it’s still best to check with your doctor first before having a go with your electric massager. You shouldn’t just rub, press, and use intense vibrations on top of the sore point. Unless you're 100% certain what caused the stiffness, you shouldn't apply force to it.
If you’ve decided to get an electric massager, you should always look for quality. Just like in any electronic product, you should be wary of the construction and materials used. As you’ll be placing this equipment right on your skin, it shouldn’t cause electrocution at the very least.
Lots of experts strongly discourage massaging your neck area. This body part has lots of vital organs that can get damaged if you put high amounts of pressure to it. So unless you’re a PT, you shouldn’t really mess with it.
Physical therapy is proven to be a very useful and reliable form of treatment for a wide range of physiological problems. It can be a safer alternative to some, but it doesn’t always mean that it’s the be all, end all of most people’s woes.
To get the best benefits of physical therapy, you should still seek the advice of your doctor. Working closely with your PT expert and physician will create a better balance of what methods work and which doesn’t, letting you achieve the results you need.
Growing up as a kid who played outside, Samantha enjoys an active lifestyle and emphasizes health as a key component to her life. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others so that anybody can live a healthy life. On the weekends, you can find her hiking around Southern California!