Physical therapy can help patients recover from injury and surgery, but it can also help patients in other ways. The benefits of physical therapy can help patients work towards wellness as well as recovery.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapists – or PTs – are licensed healthcare professionals who treat patients through methods such as exercise and stretching, or heat, cold, or electrical stimulation. Physical therapy helps patients by improving physical function, reducing pain, improving mobility, or relieving, delaying, or preventing certain symptoms.
When people think of physical therapy, their first thought often goes to recovery. While it’s true that physical therapy can help patients recover from things such as stroke, injury or surgery, physical therapy can also be a type of preventative healthcare.
Physical therapy can promote wellness in people of all ages with a variety of health issues.
What are the benefits of physical therapy?
There are many different benefits of physical therapy. Some help with recovery, while others aim at preventing symptoms or health issues.
- Physical therapy can relieve the stiffness and discomfort that can come with aging.
- It can help reduce acute pain and alleviate chronic pain.
- Regular physical activity can improve strength, balance, physical function, and help restore mobility.
- Exercise and regular physical activity are essential for good health and wellness. Regular physical activity has been shown to decrease the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Physical therapy can prevent disability, help patients regain fitness, and provide numerous long-term health benefits.
- Studies have shown that physical therapy can help manage or delay symptoms of health issues such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or neuropathy.
- It can treat balance problems.
- In some cases, physical therapy may be used as an alternative to medications or surgery.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend non-drug methods, such as physical therapy, as the first-line of treatment for chronic pain.