3 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You Feel And Function Better
An acute injury, a major surgery, a neurological crisis such as a stroke, a chronic disease, or a disorder — these health challenges can destroy your quality of life. Before you consign yourself to a wheelchair or accept prescriptions for heavy painkillers, however, you should take a close look at the benefits of physical therapy. Here are three ways a physical therapy rehabilitation plan can help you reclaim your functionality and comfort.
1. Physical Therapy Can Keep Your Joints Working
Degenerative joint conditions and serious joint injuries can both leave you with lasting stiffness and pain. In fact, an injury to a joint can trigger or accelerate the development of osteoarthritis, a chronic joint pain problem normally associated with aging. even if your joint degeneration isn't reversible, you can still use physical therapy to keep your joints relatively limber and pain-free. Your physical therapist may recommend exercises such as walking, cycling, or swimming to keep weight-bearing joints moving. This motion encourages the production of the joint's natural lubricating fluid while controlling inflammation and swelling.
2. Physical Therapy Can Loosen Tight Tissues
The last thing you may feel like doing with a painful area of your body is stretching it out. But stretching can yield some impressive benefits as part of a physical therapy rehabilitation program. For instance, if you've been immobile due to a lengthy recuperation period, your muscles and connective tissues may have shortened and tightened, reducing your range of motion once you're up and about. Gentle stretches can restore length and flexibility to the tissues. Stretches can also prove helpful for people suffering from old injuries that have left internal scarring. The right exercises, combined with other treatments such as deep tissue massage, can release muscles trapped by scar tissue.
3. Physical Therapy Treats Chronic Pain Syndromes
Chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia or tension headaches often cause pain by producing muscle spasms. In some cases, muscle spasms create hard, painful knots known as trigger points; in others, a muscle spasm will tug on a pain-sensitive membrane (such as the dura mater in the head). Physical therapy can help you manage these symptoms safely and non-pharmaceutically. Massage therapy, heat therapy, electrical stimulation, and cold laser therapy are all common solutions for relaxing muscles and easing soft tissue pain.
It's never too late to take control of your health and work toward your goals for a happier life. Talk to your local physical therapist about unlocking the potential of physical therapy rehabilitation.