Since it started back in 1992, National Physical Therapy Month’s main focus has been to acknowledge and celebrate the powerful transformations that physical therapy can achieve. So in honor of Physical Therapy Month, take a look at some ways that it may be good for you.
Pain reduction: Pain medication may provide more instant relief, but physical therapy can provide long term benefits. Exercises that stretch and strengthen joints as well as soft tissue can help relieve pain plus restore function. Certain therapies, if they are continued on a regular basis, can also help keep the pain from returning.
Mobility: Regardless of your age, physical therapy can help if you are having trouble walking, moving or standing. By doing exercises that strengthen and stretch, it helps restore your ability to move.
Balance: Most physical therapy sessions start with a fall risk assessment. If you are at high risk, the therapists will cater your sessions around safety and work towards restoring balance. They will use methods that mirror real-life situations and, if necessary, provide assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or crutches to help with safer walking. In cases where vertigo or dizziness are affecting balance, therapists will perform specific maneuvers that will help restore balance and clarity.
Diabetes management: Exercise is often a part of an effective overall diabetes plan as it can help control blood sugar. Simple movements outlined by a therapist can go a long way towards regulating blood sugar levels. Also, diabetes can affect people’s feet and legs, s exercises specific to those areas can help prevent future issues.
Stroke recovery: Many of the side-effects of a stroke affect you on a physical level. Physical therapy tailed to stroke recovery will focus on weakened areas of the body and eventually work on gait and balance. If full mobility is not possible, therapists can still work with patients to help them move around in bed so that they can assist with day to day functions such as bathing, dressing and moving from bed to chair.
Sports injuries: Physical therapists understand how certain sports have an impact on specific parts of your body. They can develop a physical therapy program designed to help recover after a sports injury, following surgery, or they can create a routine to help prevent future injuries such as stress fractures on long distance runners.