Physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, is the treatment of injury, disease or deformity through physical methods like hot and cold therapy, massage, and stretching and strengthening exercises. If you are suffering from a disorder that makes movement difficult, physical therapy is an ideal treatment to help increase movement and restore your physical function and fitness.
In the beginning of treatment, a physical therapist will evaluate the patient’s current functions by testing flexibility and going over symptoms and activity. Together a plan will be created to help restore function and increase strength to the area where the injury or pain is located.
The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain, inflammation, and spasms, and to increase strength and flexibility.
The two types of physical therapy are:
Passive therapy. This kind of therapy does not require the patient to physically move during treatment. It includes things like hot and cold therapy, massage, myofascial release, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), manipulation, and ultrasounds.
Active therapy. This therapy involves that patient’s movement of joints or muscles during the treatment process. This includes aerobic training, stretching and strengthening exercises.
When you are looking for a physical therapist, keep in mind you want someone who has experience handling your specific health problem. Each physical therapist specializes in specific areas, so make sure you ask what type of care they can provide, such as neck and shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, wound care, cardiac rehab, pediatric rehab, foot and ankle pain, pelvic floor disorders, hand and elbow pain or cancer related pain. It may be a good idea to ask your referring physician who they recommend for your specific disorder and start there. Make sure you find out what your insurance will pay, and whether they require a referral before you begin treatment.
The physicians at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. can help you decide on what kind of physical therapist is right for you, and guide you through your treatment process.