This type of therapy uses physical exercise and stretching in addition to other techniques in order to help the patient have a better quality of life based on his or her situation. Physical therapy is often used in conjunction with other methods of treatment to hopefully speed up and allow a full recovery. There are different areas that physical therapy can focus on, including the type of patient and the type of physical therapy. This can involve neurological, orthopedic, cardiovascular and pulmonary, and geriatric focuses. Physical therapy can be used to help with range of motion (especially following a surgery) or to simply work toward reducing pain in many patients.
Preparation for Physical Therapy: Since procedures vary based on the patient and the type of therapy that will be used, it is recommended that the patient communicate with the therapist to see if there is any preparation needed. Generally, physical therapy does not involve too much preparation other than discussing with the therapist what the goal of the physical therapy will be. It is also important that the patient follow the instructions of the physical therapist to optimize preparation (and therefore, results as well) for the procedure. Ultimately, preparation involves the patient finding out what he or she needs the outcome of the physical therapy to be, meeting with the physical therapist, and working on designing a therapeutic routine to suit his or her needs.
Procedures will be based on the patient’s situation and decided on between the patient and physical therapist. Depending on the patient’s situation and reason for needing physical therapy, the therapist may work in conjunction with another doctor, such as a surgeon, and decide on the procedure from there. Many procedures involve exercise and stretching routines that will be tailored specifically to the patient and any treatments the patient may have received. This may, for instance, optimize recovery from treatment such as surgery. The exercises will likely be working toward normal range of motion and to reduce any pain.
Types of Physical Therapy: The type of physical therapy will depend on the patient, the patient’s health and activity, and the desired outcome of the physical therapy. In addition, it will probably depend on the physical therapist. For sports injuries, such as leg soreness or chronic shin splints, the patient may need massage and ultra-sonic treatment to help treat the pain. Other patients may need to work with range of motion or resistance exercises, such as using a piece of rubber material to pull on with an arm or leg to build certain muscles. It all depends on the need of the patient and what routine the patient works out with the therapist.
There generally is no recovery time with physical therapy. This can vary with the patient and type of physical therapy, however. In fact, physical therapy, when done correctly following the therapist’s instruction, can even shorten recovery time from other treatments. Surgeries sometimes require physical therapy as part of the recovery process. It is generally advised that the patient work closely with the physical therapist and follow the instructions for physical therapy exactly as the therapist advises for optimal results. In the end, whatever recovery time there is (if any) will be determined by the patient’s ability to follow the therapist’s instructions.
Risks : Although there are little if any risks or side effects associated with physical therapy, it is important for the patient to speak with the doctor or physical therapist about the possible side effects of physical therapy. Having this information will allow the patient to make the most educated decision on whether or not physical therapy is the right option for them, and what type of physical therapy will be best suited for his or her needs.