Physical therapy focuses on the manual treatment of the soft tissue – muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia. Therapists use highly skilled, hands-on techniques to diagnose, prevent or treat underlying conditions and problems. It is based on health science principles and works alongside other health care practices.
Physical therapy is founded on a tradition which recognises and values the healing properties of touch. It is proven as being very safe, non-invasive and is of course, drug free. Each treatment is individually tailored. The therapist, after carefully noting your history will consider psychological, social and environmental factors in devising a treatment plan and in suggesting appropriate changes to lifestyle, work practice or exercise.
What Does A Physical Therapist Do ?
Your physical therapist will examine you and make a treatment plan. Depending on your health problem, your therapist will help you with flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and/or balance.
First, your therapist will try to reduce your pain and swelling. Then he or she will probably work to increase your flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Physical therapy almost always includes exercise. It can include stretching, core exercises, weight lifting, and walking. Your physical therapist may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home.
Your physical therapist also may use manual therapy, education, and techniques such as heat, cold, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.
What Happens In Physical Therapy
On your first visit a detailed case history will be taken detailing all aspects of your condition. This information will help to build a clearer picture as to how the dysfunction occured. With this information in mind, a functional assessment will be carried out with your permission.
A functional assessment involves assessing ranges of movement in the body and some specific tests to help isolate the problem ares(s). With the information gathered from the history and assessment, we will explain the findings to you and what we can do to help you with this and design a treatment plan.
A specific treatment plan is designed for your condition. As part of the treatment various hands on techniques will be used to help resolve the condition. The number of treatments required will depend on the person and the length of time the condition is present.
In some cases rehabilitation/postural re-education programs may be given as a home exercise program to aid the recovery process and prevent re-occurence of the condition. These exercises range from stretching and strengthening to core stability programs.
Common Problems Requiring Physical Therapy
A person needs physical therapy anytime they have a problem while moving that keeps them from doing their daily living activities. Some of the most common reasons for a person to see a physical therapist include:
- Lower back, pelvic dysfunctions, sacral and coccyx pain
- Sciatica Disc prolapse, spondylosis
- Neck pain, shoulder, elbow, wrist & hand pain
- Headaches, TMJ and facial bone pain
- Rib pain and breathing dysfunctions
- Hip, knee, ankle, heel, metatarsal pain
- Nerve pain & Whiplash
- Heart and Stroke rehabilitation
- Balance problems
- Before and after pregnancy
- Fitness, Wellness & Postural education