Many people who have never tried physical therapy think that it is simply a special form of exercise. It is easy to see why as the two seemingly overlap, in that physical therapy encompasses exercise. However, physical therapy has many other components, and is therefore a lot different – and actually even more beneficial – than exercise.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the difference between physical therapy and exercise by dissecting the components of a physical therapy program. We’ll also discuss how these components make physical therapy greatly beneficial for people living with pain due to a chronic musculoskeletal problem or those recovering from injuries or surgery.
What Constitutes a Physical Therapy Program?
Used as the mainstay of conservative treatment for a wide range of acute and chronic musculoskeletal issues, including arthritis, sprains and strains, and tendonitis, physical therapy has been shown to effectively delay or even eliminate the need for surgery for these conditions. Should surgery be inevitable, physical therapy is also recommended to help patients achieve a quick and successful recovery.
During your initial appointment with a physical therapist, they will conduct a thorough assessment in order to formulate a treatment plan. Your therapist will ask you questions about your symptoms, medical history, lifestyle, the nature and severity of your musculoskeletal problem, among other important things. They may also coordinate with your orthopedic doctor to give you the best care possible.
Your physical therapist will incorporate a combination of therapeutic modalities, patient education, and safe exercises aimed at addressing your symptoms; teaching you to move safely and efficiently; and ultimately helping you regain your prior level of function, respectively.
The following are some of the modalities your PT may employ:
- Heat Therapy- Applying heat to the affected area can help reduce pain and stiffness, increase blood flow, and promote healing.
- Cold Therapy- Applying an ice pack to your injury can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Electrical stimulation- Electrical stimulation uses mild electrical pulses to stimulate the muscles and nervous system. This process can help to reduce pain and improve muscle function.
- Ultrasound- Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to heat deep tissue and promote healing in the affected area.
- Massage – Massage can help increase blood flow and promote relaxation. It can also help release trigger points (muscle knots), which can cause pain.
- Manipulation – Your PT will use their hands to apply force on your joint to enable it to move better. Your therapist may also use special equipment, such as a pulley or lever to help maneuver your body effectively.
- Bracing or taping – This can help support the injured area of your body and prevent further injury.
Physical Therapy Near You in Clinton Township, MI
At Movement Orthopedics, physical therapy belongs to the vast array of on-site services we offer to help the people in our community live well with their chronic musculoskeletal problems, bounce back from their sports injuries, or recover successfully from their surgical procedures.