When you end up in need of assistance from physical therapists, you might be left wondering exactly what these repeated visits to the therapy center are actually accomplishing. Since it can often hurt in the start, and at times the path to healing is”two steps forward, 1 step backward,” many are tempted to forget about therapy and try to heal by themselves. If you’re wondering about the benefits of therapy, here’s what you need to know about how it helps.
Following an injury, your muscles are left weak and damaged. As you could, in theory, get your strength back performing exercises on your own, the unhappy reality is that doing exercises could leave you with additional damage or a new injury. Those weak muscles are just too risky. Therapy helps systematically and correctly strengthen those muscles so that you can have full use of the limb again.
Physical therapists are trained to examine your body and discover weaknesses or inefficiencies with your biomechanics. They understand how to target the specific areas of weakness with strengthening and stretching exercise so you strengthen those areas and make them no more a point of weakness. They also have training about surgical procedures, so that they understand how to help the body recover.
Therapy can also help stretch tight muscles and joints. Following an accident and period of rest, it’s typical for muscles to be left tight and with restricted mobility. Although this is common, it’s not necessarily a great thing, as tight joints and muscles can be more vulnerable to injury. A therapist can help you learn how to stretch these joints to be able to restrict this tightness. This also works to break up scar tissue after surgery or an accident that resulted in a scar. Breaking up scar tissue will help improve mobility and range of movement for you.
Physical therapists can also help you understand what you can do at home to help boost your recovery. As an example, heat and ice can both be very helpful to the healing process, but only when used appropriately for your injury or restoration. A therapist will know how to help you correctly apply these tools, and will provide you instructions about what to do in your home. Another place is with at-home workouts. The therapist will teach you the way you can do the appropriate exercises for your specific difficulty, and provide you with the directions and tools for doing it correctly at home. Follow up appointments permit the therapist to find out if you’re properly following directions to assist in your healing.
Lastly, physical therapists have access to resources you can’t use at home. Ultrasound therapy and electrical stimulation, for example, have been shown to be quite valuable in boosting blood circulation, limiting pain, and promoting recovery. They can also break up scar tissue. However, it wouldn’t be safe for you to utilize these tools in your home without proper oversight. Only by going to therapy frequently will you have access to these invaluable healing tools.