Most people know that physical therapy does an exceptional job of easing their pain, improving their ability to stay active, and helping them recover from surgery, injuries, stroke, and neurological conditions. But they don’t have a clue what type of treatment they might receive when they need physical therapy.
The team at Prolete Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine wrote this post to give you a closer look at several treatments they frequently include in their treatment plans. Keep reading to get the details.
Though physical therapists are experts in many different modalities, therapeutic exercise is at the heart of your treatment. Therapeutic exercise incorporates movements and activities that promote healing, ease your pain, reduce inflammation, and restore function.
Your physical therapist chooses from among many passive and active exercises to improve:
- Aerobic and endurance conditioning
- Muscle strength
- Soft tissue flexibility
- Coordination and balance
- Body mechanics and gait
- Neuromotor development
- Neuromuscular education
- Agility and power
Therapeutic exercise follows a progressive movement strategy that helps you recover and rehabilitate from health conditions such as sports injuries, orthopedic conditions, and vestibular disorders.
Manual techniques are hands-on therapies that manipulate soft tissues and mobilize joints. A few examples include:
Soft tissue mobilization
Soft tissue mobilization relaxes muscles and breaks up tough fibrous tissues like scar tissue. As a result, your pain diminishes and your mobility improves.
Massage improves your health by:
- Relieving pain
- Promoting healing
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving mobility
- Strengthening the immune system
- Increasing blood and lymph circulation
Boosting your circulation draws more oxygen-rich blood to tissues that need healing nutrients and also eliminates body wastes at a faster pace.
This gentle technique uses passive body positioning to relax pain caused by muscle spasms. After finding the position that causes pain and tenderness, your therapist holds the position until the muscles relax. This allows the muscles to heal and return to their normal activity.
Physical therapy is always individualized to meet your goals. If your goal includes returning to competitive sports, your therapy focuses on sport-specific rehabilitation and training.
The team incorporates exercises that build the skills you need for your sport and retrain your body to improve your performance. Your therapist also recommends exercises or changes to your training regimen that will help prevent future injuries.
Posture and body mechanics
You may not give much thought to your posture, but it affects every aspect of your daily life. When you have healthy bones, joints, and muscles, they’re all arranged in a precise alignment that balances your body and prevents excessive stress on your musculoskeletal system.
Here’s one example: When you walk or run, the pressure that’s absorbed by your feet is offloaded as it travels up your legs and hips. If the bones are out of alignment, specific bones, muscles, and joints take on more pressure than they can manage, which leads to health problems.
Good posture maintains proper alignment, which prevents abnormal wear on your joints, reduces stress on ligaments and muscles, and avoids fatigue and injuries.
When we conduct your evaluation, we always check your posture. When needed, your physical therapy includes exercises to improve your posture and body mechanics because they form the foundation for all body movement.
Ultrasound and electrical stimulation
We use today’s most advanced technology, which includes noninvasive therapies such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
Therapeutic ultrasound uses high-level sound waves. Your therapist focuses the sound waves on specific tissues. This treatment promotes healing and eases pain by heating the tissues.
Electrical stimulation, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), uses low-level electric currents to relieve pain caused by many conditions, including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, and low back pain.
The electrical stimulation blocks pain messages traveling through nerves. It may also trigger the release of your body’s natural pain killers (endorphins).
If you have questions about physical therapy treatments, call Prolete Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.