Physical therapy involves the use of therapeutic exercise, exercise equipment, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other procedures suitable for a specific person and condition.
Characterized by a personal and direct approach to meeting an individual's health needs and wants, physical therapy may benefit conditions ranging from developmental disabilities to chronic pain syndromes to spinal-cord injuries.
Physical therapy is often an important part of medical treatment for people who've experienced illness, accident or surgery. Physical therapists work to enhance and restore mobility to individuals with neurological, developmental or orthopedic disabilities and encourage independence at home, work, school and in the community.
Physical therapy is often necessary:
- After birth, to evaluate infants suspected of having disabling conditions and to recommend corrective action
- After operations, to restore function to affected muscles and to keep unaffected muscles strong and useful
- Following stroke, to restore movement and independent living
- Before illness, to design programs of preventive health care
- To help people with spinal cord injuries, sports injuries, broken bones and amputations learn to use crutches, braces, wheelchairs and artificial limbs
Physical therapy aims to:
- Improve functional mobility
- Increase range of motion and strength
- Promote tissue healing
- Prevent disability and pain
- Decrease pain and swelling
- Teach patients and families self-care
- Provide prevention and education
Physical Therapy is used to:
- Reduce pain and improve motion in joints
- Ease the pain of sprains and prevent future injuries
- Plan treatment programs for children who have neurological, orthopedic and other disorders
- Test for exercise stress and design exercise programs
- Evaluate low-back pain and eliminate functional causes
- Rebuild self-confidence and interest in returning to an independent, active life