Over the years, physical therapy has emerged as one of the most effective and popular treatments for a wide range of chronic conditions. The noninvasive therapy utilizes exercise, mobility training, electrical stimulation, and more to ease musculoskeletal tension and relieve pain.
Board-certified physical therapists focus on body mechanic training or ergonomics to provide patients with long-term pain relief and flexibility. With persistent treatment, patients notice an improvement in mobility, flexibility, strength, and balance.
As a patient’s range of motion increases, they notice that chronic pain in one or more of the affected areas becomes less.
Despite its benefits, only a fraction of qualified patients with chronic conditions use physical therapy to help them. In many cases, patients are sure if physical therapy is the right treatment for them opting instead for other less effective treatments like additional medication or more invasive methods like surgery.
If you’ve been struggling with a condition and want to know if physical therapy can help, here are a few things to consider:
When Does Physical Therapy Make Sense?
Some people think that physical therapy is used just to help people with orthopedic conditions, but the treatment can help people with an extensive range of conditions. Be sure to ask your doctor if physical therapy can help you.
Physical therapy can help conditions that fall into six basic categories:
1. Cardiopulmonary Conditions
If you’re suffering from cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or post-myocardial infarction (MI), physical therapy could be a secondary treatment plan depending upon your condition and its severity.
Physical therapy can assist patients with conditions that cause mucus drainage from the five lobes of the lungs. Airway clearance techniques practitioners use can help alleviate painful symptoms, improve lung function, increase energy, and promote relaxation.
2. Musculoskeletal Conditions
Musculoskeletal conditions like joint conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis), bone conditions (e.g. osteoporosis), muscle conditions (e.g. sarcopenia), or spine conditions (e.g. back and neck pain) need to be treated immediately. When patients delay the time between the onset of symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, they can risk developing severe chronic pain and stiffness.
Under your doctor’s supervision, a board-certified physical therapist can create a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you’re experiencing pain in your back, neck, shoulders, hips, wrists, legs, knees, or feet and you are seeking treatment, ask your doctor if physical therapy makes sense to help you find relief.
3. Neurological Conditions
Patients suffering from neurological conditions are ideal candidates for physical therapy.
When patients experience damage to the nervous system whether it’s direct to the brain, spinal cord, ganglion or nerves, it can cause conditions that impacts your movement and sensation throughout your body. Over time, patients may notice that their mobility is more restricted and that could become permanent with time.
Physical therapy techniques can help restore your range of motion, improve motor control, and enhance strength so you feel more alert and agile.
Physical therapy has been prescribed for patients suffering from a variety of neurological disorders and conditions including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and vestibular dysfunction.
4. Sports Injuries
Research shows that over 8.6 million Americans which includes both adults and children sustain sports injuries each year.
Sports injuries may not be serious at first, but if left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and become chronic creating even more issues that require more drastic intervention.
Physical therapy has been used both by itself and in conjunction with surgery to effectively treat patients with pulled muscles, knee injuries, ankle injuries, tennis elbow, and a concussion, among other injuries.
5. Pediatric Conditions
Physical therapy has proven effective with patients with pediatric conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, and developmental delays.
The treatment helps children improve gross motor skills and address the root conditions associated with toe walking. It can also help children who are experiencing chronic pain in their toes or it can be used to strengthen and stretch muscles and improve mobility in children who wear braces for leg support.
6. Conditions Affecting the Hand
Some people tend to overlook the severity of a hand injury, until they experience it first-hand. When you damage your hand, it can make work almost impossible—from picking things up to typing on a keyboard. The injury goes beyond the obvious physical pain and can affect the patient’s mental and emotional health since it could lead to not being able to work.
Physical therapists use innovative techniques and equipment to restore hand flexibility, reduce sensitivity, and offer lasting pain relief.
If you’re experiencing common hand, wrist, and elbow conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, arthritis, tendonitis, fractures, amputations, and tendon lacerations, see your doctor and see if physical therapy can help you.
Our board-certified physical therapists use a number of techniques from strength training, compression therapy, mobility training to hot and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, and vestibular rehabilitation to treat a number of conditions.
As one of the leading healthcare facilities in Southeast Texas, Houston Physicians’ Hospital can create a tailored physical therapy treatment plan to address your particular condition
If you think that physical therapy can help you, you can find a qualified physical therapist at a location convenient to you in South Houston, Webster, Galveston, Clear Lake, and League City.