Physical therapy helps thousands of people every year recover from surgery. It also helps many avoid surgery in the first place.
Indeed, physical therapy offers several health benefits. A diverse health care practice, physical therapy prevents pain and injuries while promoting health and mobility. Physical therapy programs also help people who have concussions, sports injuries, neurological conditions, women’s health issues and balance problems to name a few.
Today, many people seek physical therapy on their own. A recent program, Direct Access, allows anyone to see a licensed physical therapist without a referral from their physician.
Here’s how physical therapy may help you:
Use physical therapy to avoid surgery.
Research continues to show that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery for certain conditions. It’s one reason why doctors tell people who’ve been injured to try physical therapy. Time for the body to heal and physical therapy sessions may eliminate the need for invasive treatment such as surgery.
Painful meniscal tears, knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease can all be treated just as effectively with physical therapy, according to several studies.
Although some patients still need surgery despite physical therapy, others can avoid it by continuing exercises and stretches they learn during their sessions.
Regain your independence.
Working with a physical therapist can alleviate pain and improve your quality of life. As movement experts, physical therapists identify and diagnose movement problems. At Bon Secours In Motion, every patient receives an individualized treatment plan – even if they have the same injury – to help them recover and resume their normal activities. In some cases, people can recover enough to return to work and earn a living.
Physical therapy can alleviate your pain so you don’t need to take a prescription pain-reliever. Many medications, such as opioids, have side effects. Opioids pose many serious risks including addiction, depression, overdose and withdrawal symptoms.
Prevent future injuries.
When you see a physical therapist, you become a part of your own recovery. You’ll work collaboratively on a treatment plan that’s designed specifically for your challenges and goals. Once you’ve finished physical therapy, you can continue working on your own with exercises and stretches you’ve learned. It’s a lifelong benefit.
“Physical therapy helps you gain a better understanding of how your body works,” Ammons said. “I would encourage patients to work with a physical therapist and ask questions. By being an active participant, the patient can gain a better understanding of how to recover from an injury.”