Physical Therapy | What You Need To Know

If you've had a recent injury or illness, your doctor has likely recommended physical therapy as part of your rehabilitation. Physical therapy is one of the most popular healthcare services available today. But what is physical therapy? How does it work? And why is it so important for your health and well-being? Here's why physical therapy is so beneficial for many patients. 

What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) is a type of healthcare treatment focusing on rehabilitation and helping people recover from injury, improve mobility, reduce pain, or relearn certain skills.

There are many reasons why people might need to seek physical therapy. Some common ones include sports injuries, chronic pain, orthopedic injuries, post-injury rehabilitation, pre-operative training, post-operative rehabilitation, or balance issues due to age or illness. While some people may only need a few sessions with a physical therapist to fully recover from an injury or condition, others may require ongoing care to maintain mobility and quality of life.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do During an Appointment?

Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help patients reach their goals, including:

  • Exercise. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized exercise plan that fits your needs.
  • Manual therapy. This type of treatment involves hands-on manipulation of soft tissue and joints.
  • Education. Your physical therapist will teach you about your injury or condition and how to manage it safely.
  • Stretching. Your physical therapist will help you learn how to stretch properly and safely to increase your range of motion.
  • Strength training. Your physical therapist can help you build strength in the areas you need most.
  • Alternating heat/cold application. Your physical therapist may alternate between using hot and cold packs to reduce pain or inflammation.
  • Electrical stimulation. This type of treatment uses electrical currents to help reduce pain or stimulate muscle movement.

Your physical therapist will also provide instructions on how best to perform each activity during treatment so that you can get the maximum benefit from each session. Additionally, they may also refer you for additional tests to assess other areas of concern that could be contributing to your pain or discomfort or otherwise impairing your ability to function normally.

Physical therapy is an effective way for people needing rehabilitation to get back on their feet as quickly as possible without relying on medications or surgery to relieve symptoms. By combining specific exercises and treatments, physical therapists can provide long-term solutions for chronic conditions while helping to prevent future injuries. If you're considering physical therapy, talk with a professional service such as Dominion Physical Therapy about what options are available.