Deep tissue massage, core exercises, weight training, biking, running on a treadmill – these activities are all part of physical therapy (PT). It is a practice that aims to help you move, function, and live better. It can prevent and manage physical conditions without the use of drugs or potential surgeries.
Therapists are found in a wide range of health care settings from schools, sports and fitness facilities, hospitals, rehab centers, nursing homes, occupational settings, and many more. They take care of patients starting from the initial diagnosis to the stages of recovery. This just shows that we need PT in every aspect of our lives.
Here are the key benefits of physical therapy:
1. Pain management
PT explores the particular pain of each patient, determines what causes it and what can be done to manage it. Through the right exercise, massage, and manipulation, PT is able to alleviate inflammation, and stiffness, as well as restore mobility. It also stimulates the body’s production of natural pain-relieving chemicals. The more you learn how to exercise to accommodate your pain, the less pain you’ll feel.
2. Improve mobility
Patients often find it hard to get back on their feet after a serious injury or surgery. PT targets specific areas of the body that may be preventing you from moving properly. They take a multifaceted approach including exercise, stretching, manual techniques, modalities, and neuromuscular re-education to improve mobility. Individuals are also fitted with canes, crutches or any other assistive devices.
3. Avoid or delay surgery
For some conditions that may require surgery, the more conservative approach is to first try physical therapy. If it helps you heal from injuries, there may be no need to undergo surgery. A study by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests PT to be as effective as surgery when it comes to meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis. Patients with degenerative disk disease and carpal tunnel syndrome were also found to respond well to PT as to surgery.
4. Prevent sports injuries
PT is known to help in sports injury rehabilitation, but it also plays a huge role in preventing injuries. Proactive physical therapy is an approach used by therapists to correct imbalances that can increase the risk of injury in people who play sports. For instance, baseball players and golfers tend to work one side of their bodies more than the other, which can lead to overcompensation and injury. PT increases symmetry in strength and flexibility through exercises targeting the weak parts of the body.
5. Recover from stroke
Stroke can break the vital connections between your muscles and the brain. This is why it often results in long-term disability or loss of mobility and movement. A patient’s recovery from stroke depends on consistent PT sessions. A physical therapist works with the affected body parts to keep muscles toned and stimulated. So when a patient regains movement, it will be easy to retrain the brain how to control the affected limbs.
6. Improve balance
Part of PT programs is screening patients for fall risk. This is common among older adults. If you are at high risk for falls, therapists will include exercises that will carefully challenge your balance to prevent falls and subsequent injuries. Assistive devices may also be prescribed for safer walking. Weight training, walking sessions, dance steps, and obstacle courses are often used to help improve balance.
7. Manage women’s health
Women go through numerous health concerns during pregnancy and following birth that needs physiotherapy intervention. For instance, pelvic floor dysfunction can lead to urinary and/or bowel incontinence and pelvic pain. Physical therapy can resolve this with exercises targeted to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. There are therapeutic exercises to prepare the body for the physical demands of childbirth and to improve recovery after delivery. PT can also serve as a lower back pain treatment in women who play sports or engage in strenuous activities.
8. Manage diabetes
Exercise is very important to patients with diabetes to gain good blood sugar control. However, by the time they are diagnosed, they may have already developed conditions (e.g.diabetic neuropathy, obesity, metabolic syndrome, etc.) that make it difficult to exercise. Thus, it is not safe and effective for them to engage in exercise on their own. Physical therapists work with diabetes patients to improve their ability to move, reduce their pain, or possibly lower their blood sugar.
9. Fight heart and lung disease
Physical therapy aims to improve ventilation for people suffering from pulmonary conditions such as dyspnea in COPD patients. They undergo breathing exercises, bronchopulmonary hygiene techniques and physical training for peripheral and respiratory muscles. PT also plays a key role in heart health, especially when daily functioning is affected. For instance, exercises like jogging and resistance training are found to be effective in reducing blood pressure.
10. Cope with old age
As people age, it increases their risk for conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. Physical therapy is a commonly recommended treatment because it helps strengthen joints that have been weakened by damage and inflammation. It can reduce the pain, swelling, and stiffness in osteoarthritis and improve joint function. PT can manage these issues conservatively and may even delay or prevent surgery for joint replacement.
If you are looking for a less invasive treatment option for your health problem, let the experts of Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center help! We offer top-quality physiotherapy services in Dubai, making sure that each client receives the best treatment. Whether you’re in need of sports rehabilitation, lymphatic drainage massage, trigger point treatment, or craniosacral therapy, do not hesitate to contact us at +971 4 551 6126.