HEALTH & FITNESS The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
What Many Medical Ads Should Be Saying ASK YOUR DOCTOR IF PHYSICAL THERAPY IS RIGHT FOR YOU
You have been referred to a physical therapist. Now what? If you are one of the millions of Americans every year that suffers from the aftermath of an accident or is trying to “come back” after surgery, you likely expected this referral. If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic or recurrent pain, including migraines, you might be wondering what the connection is between physical therapy and long-term pain relief. Fortunately, we’re here to help. What is physical therapy? Physical therapists are part health care professionals and part teachers. Highly trained in human anatomy and physiology, physical therapists use a variety of techniques to diagnose movement and function problems, prescribe therapy and teach a person how to continue improving and avoid injury long after they leave the office. Physical therapy is often prescribed after an injury or surgery, but it can also be an important part of the treatment plan for neurologic disorders, disabilities, cardiac conditions, pulmonary problems, and developmental disorders. Diagnosis and Therapeutic Exercise Physical therapists are adept at diagnosing the root problem of a person’s functional problem. Rather than looking at the symptoms (pain, discomfort, stiffness), these professionals look at what is causing the symptoms.
As a result, physical therapists perform the type, frequency and duration of therapy based on goals beyond the superficial symptom. For instance, someone who comes to a physical therapist with pain in their knee may begin therapy with goals to strengthen the muscles in their leg, reduce their weight, and improve their posture. Exercises that are targeted at improving mobility, function or strength in a particular part of the body are called therapeutic exercises. This key component to rehabilitation is the crux to any physical therapy program. In fact, the American Physical Therapy Association has said that physical therapy is not physical therapy without some form of therapeutic exercise. The goal of any exercise of this type is to restore movement, improve strength and function, and promote overall wellness. Specific exercises may be prescribed to restore strength, endurance or range of motion. Additionally, therapeutic exercise may address balance, pain, or proprioception (the sense of how much effort is being used in movement). While many physicians believe in the power of exercise to restore function, physical therapy adds a level of supervision that makes therapeutic exercise more effective. (continued inside) Call (316) 283-7187 today to speak with a physical therapist or to schedule your free consultation.
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