The role of physical therapy in rehabilitation and recovery

Updated on February 13, 2020

Following an injury or surgery, there are chances that people develop some pain that can turn chronic with time and become so much unbearable that it disrupts regular life. Sports injuries can also be equally harmful. To address all such problems that impact healthy living, you should visit a physical therapist at PhyxMe PT Chicago who can restore normalcy and allow you to enjoy life in the way you want.  A physical therapist is formally trained and educated with a license to practice the skills in rehabilitating people who suffer from various pain conditions and gives them a new lease of life by restoring their strength, motion and activity. 

Physical therapists work upon the body of the patient by teaching them specific exercises, stretches and other techniques besides using specialized equipment to address problems that only they can understand by virtue of their training, education and experience. 

The scope of physical therapy

Physical therapists specialize in biomechanics that governs the body movements and tries to identify the deficiencies that cause pain. They can target specific areas of the bodies that lack strength or has some other deficiencies that impair body movements and lead to painful conditions. With complete knowledge about body structure and movements, physical therapists are also knowledgeable about surgical procedures and treatment goals to create a tailor-made treatment plan for relieving pain and improve well-being.

Muscle and joint relaxation by stretching

Tight muscles and stiff joints restrict regular movements and impair the range of motions that severely affect normal activities like reaching overhead or climbing stairs. To preserve these functions, the physical therapist will advise stretching exercises that help to preserve the movements and even restore it.  Scar tissues form after surgery and soft tissues contract which often hinders the rehabilitation process. Stretching helps to mitigate the problems of scar tissue formation and ensure proper rehabilitation and recovery.

Exercise for a healthy body

When muscles become weak, the therapist will recommend strengthening exercises to improve muscle functions. The exercises aim at improving strength, increasing endurance and maintaining or improving a range of motion. Exercises help in post-operative recovery under the guidance of a physical therapist or doctor by considering the specific restrictions imposed due to injury.

Core strengthening and stability

One of the recent developments in physical therapy is that it now gives more emphasis to core strengthening and stability that helps better recovery from knee and shoulder injuries as well as neck and back injuries. The core of your body, which is like the foundation of a building must be strong so that it can withstand stress and prevent injuries due to overuse. Some exercise programs like Pilates workouts are excellent in enhancing the core strength of the back and pelvis muscles that reduces the vulnerability to injuries.

Physical therapists use ice and heat application for cooling off and warming muscles which reduces inflammation and improves blood flow.  To stimulate deep tissues, they use high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) that results in increased blood flow to the tissues and warming. They also use electrical stimulation to address neurological conditions that weaken the muscles and develops pain. 

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