When Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapy and recovery from injury
Reference Physical therapy Opens New Window can help you recover from an injury and avoid future injury by reducing pain in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments), improving flexibility and function, and building muscle strength. Your Reference physical therapist Opens New Window can also evaluate how you do an activity and make suggestions for doing the activity in a way that is less likely to result in an injury. Following are examples of injuries for which physical therapy is helpful:
Physical therapy and chronic health conditions
Physical therapy can help you live more easily with chronic or ongoing health conditions. Your physical therapist will work with you to establish your goals, then create a program of educational, range-of-motion, strengthening, and endurance activities to meet your needs. Here are some examples of chronic conditions that may be helped by physical therapy:
- Reference Spinal stenosis
- Reference Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Reference Rheumatoid arthritis
- Reference Parkinson's disease
- Reference Temporomandibular problems
- Reference Reference Multiple sclerosis
- Reference Reference Vertigo
Physical therapy and health conditions requiring a rehabilitation team approach
Some conditions involve several body systems and can lead to significant disability. These conditions—such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and major cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) problems—are usually addressed by a team of health professionals. The team can include doctors; nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; psychologists; and social workers, among others. Physical therapists are a critical part of this team. They address the issues of range of motion, strength, endurance, mobility (walking, going up and down stairs, getting in and out of a bed or chair), and safety. The physical therapist may also get you the equipment you need, such as a walker or wheelchair, and make sure you can use the equipment appropriately. Following are some examples of health conditions that commonly involve a rehabilitation team:
Physical therapy and significant health conditions of childhood
Physical therapists also work with children who have major injuries or health conditions. They address the usual issues of range of motion, strength, endurance, and mobility. Also, the therapist considers the child's special growth and developmental needs.
Treatment is often provided in the school or in a facility just for children. The way physical therapy and other services are delivered in the schools varies among the states. Talk to your child's doctor, school, or your local health department if you think your child may qualify for evaluation or treatment services.
Reference Cerebral palsy is an example of a childhood health condition that is usually addressed in part by physical therapy. Other injuries and conditions include brain injury, muscular dystrophy, and arthritis.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 19, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference David A. Fleckenstein, MPT - Physical Therapy