In a single year, Americans seek out a collective 300 million physical therapy sessions (or more!). Powering this demand is a simple fact: Physical therapy is good for your health.
Reducing pain while lowering patient healthcare costs. Preventing surgery while boosting mobility. Physical therapy can even be good for your mental health. Read on to discover three incredible ways that physical therapy can improve your health.
1. Physical therapy reduces pain.
Pain is, unfortunately, a constant in millions of Americans’ lives. According to the CDC, 20.4 percent of Americans suffered from chronic pain, a total of 50 million individuals. Whether caused by injury, stress, or illness, consistent pain can be debilitating. By impacting both a patient’s mental and physical health, it can prevent an individual from working or from enjoying the daily activities they love.
Physical therapy often has the answer to pain. Sometimes, the therapist identifies the source of your pain so that they can treat it effectively. At other times, you know the cause of your discomfort and simply need support in eliminating it. In both cases, a physical therapist can use a wide range of tools to help you feel better, AND reduce your need for prescription medication.
Physical therapy gets you moving.
Regular movement leads to a 28 percent reduction in a person’s perception of pain. Simply by getting you more active through exercises, Pilates, manual massages, and other techniques, a physical therapist can help you to naturally combat your pain.
A physical therapist provides pain education.
In addition, a physical therapist can help you to better understand your pain. That understanding can drive actions that are key in eliminating discomfort. A physical therapist can identify the source of your pain, instruct you in how to manage it, explain its potential impacts on your life, and equip you with tools to combat it in your own home.
A physical therapist uses many tools to treat pain.
Finally, a PT has many tools and state-of-the-art techniques available in their pain-fighting arsenal. A skilled and compassionate professional will select the tools that are ideal for addressing your discomfort. Here are some of the approaches a physical therapist may take:
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Electrical stimulation
Physical therapy can reduce the need for surgery.
The reduction or elimination of pain is a powerful relief for individuals who are looking for better health and a more active life. Physical therapy, however, can do more than provide relief: By reducing pain, and addressing its cause, PT can also prevent invasive, painful procedures such as surgery.
Physical therapy is not a replacement for every surgery. However, it can be as effective as certain orthopedic surgeries, particularly those that address meniscus tears and knee osteoarthritis. If you are in pain, one of your first stops should be a qualified, compassionate, and experienced physical therapist.
2. Physical therapy establishes better balance.
More than one-quarter of all adults over the age of 65 fall every year and 3 million of them are treated for fall-related injuries in the emergency room. Sometimes, boosting your health means establishing greater balance and flexibility to prevent those falls and injuries from ever happening.
Physical therapy is the key. A qualified PT professional has the ability to improve your ability to carry yourself with confidence, even if you are getting older or have health conditions that make you more prone to falls and injuries. Here is how.
A physical therapist evaluates your fall risk.
The first step in establishing greater balance is to evaluate your current fall risk. A physical therapist can safely determine just how likely you are to fall and identify why you may be struggling with your balance. They will then develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs in order to develop greater balance over the long term.
Physical therapy teaches you flexibility.
One of the underlying causes of some falls is the inability of the muscle’s to fully stretch or the joints to achieve their full range of motion. Physical therapy can instill this ability through a range of exercises, massage, heat therapy, and other approaches. In addition, greater flexibility can minimize the risk of injury if you do fall or during strenuous activities so you can safely continue your favorite hobbies even as you age.
Physical therapy strengthens your core muscles.
Physical therapy can also prevent falls by strengthening your core muscles (The muscles involved from your abdomen through your hips). Your physical therapist can help you achieve greater strength in these parts of your body through exercises or sometimes through the use of Pilates so you can complete daily activities more safely.
3. Physical therapy enables more activity.
Physical therapy has one central goal: To get you back to your daily life. Whether you are suffering from a sports injury and are looking to get out on the field again or simply trying to maintain some independence in the face of a chronic illness, physical therapy can improve your health by improving your ability to engage in your favorite activities.
Physical therapy improves your mobility.
If you struggle with daily activities because of mobility problems, a qualified PT can work with you to improve your strength, flexibility, and range of motion so you can move confidently through your day.
Physical therapy heightens your energy levels.
More movement and activity tends to create more energy. Physical therapy can help by getting you into a regular program of exercise and movement. Once your energy levels are up, you may find yourself more motivated to do the things you had previously only thought about.
Physical therapy focuses on your goals.
A great physical therapist will never start treatment without first determining what your goals are. These goals will then serve as the foundation for your treatment plan. By incorporating your goals into your physical therapy from the start, PT becomes a tool for helping you craft the life YOU want to live, free of the limitations of pain, injury, or illness.
Physical therapy is good for your health in a variety of ways. From reducing pain to equipping you for the life you want to live, PT can be transformative. If you are looking for a convenient, skilled, and compassionate PT office in the NYC area, contact In Touch NYC PT today. We look forward to getting you on the path to health.