What You Should Know About Physical Therapy
Physical therapy helps people reduce pain, recover from injuries, and improve their quality of life by using exercises and other techniques that teach the body how to move correctly. You might need short-term physical therapy to help you heal after surgery or to recover from an injury, or you may work with a therapist for long-term treatment to manage chronic conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
A PT examines and assesses your condition and then designs a plan of treatment to meet your goals. They’ll consider things like your symptoms and how they affect your daily activities, what impairments you have that are caused by or result from your condition and any other health factors. They’ll create a treatment strategy that could include passive treatments such as warm baths or warm (fango) mud packs, cold air or heat lamps, active exercises and manual techniques like massage or joint mobilization, electrical stimulation and cold therapy.
Seniors and Physical Therapy: Enhancing Quality of Life in Later Years
PTs often spend a lot of time with their patients, sometimes one-on-one for 30-60 minutes at a time. That gives them the opportunity to form a connection with their clients that goes beyond healing their injuries or illnesses. PTs are also aware of the emotional aspects of recovery and try to support their patients as they make the journey.
When you go to a PT, it’s helpful to bring a list of your medications, including supplements and over-the-counter treatments. Also, bring a photo ID and your insurance card, and wear comfortable clothes like shorts or sweatpants that allow the therapist to easily reach and touch the area they’re treating. Also, be sure to follow their at-home exercise plans exactly — that’s where most of the benefit from PT comes from.