Surprising Benefits Of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a dynamic and broad-based field that treats disorders of functional movement. From sports injuries to degenerative illnesses to chronic pain, millions of people suffer from conditions that moderately or severely limit their ability to move fully, freely, and without pain.

Physical therapy is often prescribed in tandem with other treatments such as injections or medications, and is frequently prescribed post-surgery to help the patient make a full, quick recovery. It may also be used as a stand-alone treatment for many conditions. Here are just a few of the many benefits of physical therapy.

Maximizing Functional Movement

From shopping for groceries to earning a living, the ability to fully move the body is critical to quality of life. Those whose movement is severely limited due to pain, illness, or injury can suffer from a loss of independence, depression, anxiety, financial problems, and isolation. Physical therapists are experts in the science of movement, and can help you vastly improve your ability to move around with little or no pain.

Participation in Your Own Recovery

Physical therapy is a collaborative process. Your physical therapist will assess your current condition and health history, as well as your goals and desires. Whether you want to run a marathon, play golf with your friends, or get more involved in your grandchildren’s lives, your physical therapist will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan. You will learn a variety of both in-office and at-home exercises, and will be held accountable for your active participation in your own recovery.

Avoiding Opioids

Although opioid medications can help to reduce or eliminate severe pain, they carry quite a few drawbacks. There is a substantial risk for addiction, depression, and overdose, and going off of them can be challenging as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) urges health care providers to use alternative solutions when possible, and physical therapy is an important part of that equation for many people.

If you are currently taking opioid medications, physical therapy can help strengthen and condition your body to the point that your doctor can help you safely taper off the opioids. Due to the potential for severe withdrawal symptoms, never stop taking your medications without your doctor’s advice and assistance.

Avoiding Surgery

For many, though not all, conditions, physical therapy has been found to be just as effective as surgery. If your doctor recommends surgery for spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, or an injury, ask him or her whether it is safe for you to try physical therapy first. Avoiding surgery means avoiding an invasive, expensive procedure that may require a prolonged recovery period.

Recovering from Surgery

It is not always possible to avoid surgery in all cases. When surgery is required, physical therapy can help to rehabilitate your body post-surgery, shortening the length of recovery, reducing post-surgical pain, and restoring you to a fuller capacity to move freely. Ask your surgeon for a physical therapy referral.

Like anything else, physical therapy is not right for every situation. If you suffer from an illness or injury that causes pain and/or limits your range of motion, however, physical therapy may be able to help. Through individualized, targeted exercises, a physical therapist can often help you meet your physical movement goals.

If you are seeking a customized, innovative approach to physical therapy in Matawan, NJ, please call Matawan Physical Therapy at (732) 662-4400 to schedule your initial assessment.