Why physical therapy is critical for recovering from an injury

Physical therapists have always been an important part of the rehabilitation process, helping patients regain movement and function after an injury or surgery. However, in recent years their role has expanded to include the prevention of injuries and illnesses. Physical therapy is now being used as a way to improve overall fitness and health, not just to help people recover from an injury.

This shift has been driven by advances in technology and research that have allowed physical therapists to develop new treatments and methods. For example, physical therapists are now using ultrasound therapy and electrical stimulation to help patients heal faster. They are also using exercise programs and weight-loss interventions to prevent obesity and heart disease.

As a result of these advances, physical therapy is becoming an increasingly important part of the healthcare system. More insurance companies are covering physical therapy services, and more doctors are referring patients to physical therapists for treatment.

If injuries are left untreated in their initial stages, they can cause further complications such as permanent nerve damage, deformities, and even loss of the affected area. Physical therapy can help patients avoid such risks.

The primary goal of physical therapy is to restore physical health, increase mobility and prevent the risk of future injuries. In the case of injuries, physical therapy becomes critical for recovery. Here is why:

It reduces inflammation and pain after injury

When the body becomes inflamed, it can be due to infection, injury, or autoimmune response. The body’s immune system is activated and sends white blood cells and other inflammatory mediators to the site of inflammation. This results in the classic signs of inflammation: redness, heat, swelling, and pain. The purpose of inflammation is to remove the inciting cause and initiate tissue healing. However, sometimes inflammation can persist long after the original insult has been resolved and lead to chronic health problems.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an injury. It is directly related to swelling, bruises and pain. Although that plays a vital role in healing, if it is left untreated during the initial stages, it can cause lifelong problems.

Physical therapy helps in minimizing inflammation through various practices such as hot and cold therapy, electrotherapy and hydrotherapy. These methods can help you relieve pain and reduce inflammation minimizing the risk of future complications, and that’s why PT is crucial for recovery.

Physical therapy is personalized

Physical bodies respond differently to an injury due to different muscle strength/immunity and lifestyle choices. Most injuries require more than over-the-counter medicines or simply resting. Your body may need some personalized help to recover.

PT services provide customized care to each patient by looking at your movement patterns, habits, and bodily limitations. They also evaluate progress accurately and design a comprehensive program that helps you resume your daily activities as soon as possible.

It ensures proper alignment of bones

The bones in your body are constantly moving and shifting to create the most efficient structure possible. When you stand up, for example, your thigh bone (femur) moves slightly inward to support the weight of your upper body. This process is known as alignment, and it’s how your bones maintain a strong structure while also being able to move and adapt to your daily activities.

There are a few things that help bones align properly. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments attach to the bones and help pull them into place. Additionally, discs between the vertebrae act as cushions and help keep the spine aligned. Finally, the body’s center of gravity helps dictate where bones should be positioned.

While alignment is key for overall strength and health, it’s also important for preventing injuries.

Right after an injury, the body starts its healing process. If the broken bones are not aligned properly, the bones will heal with permanent deformities. Besides being aesthetically unpleasant, they also cause chronic pain, decreased mobility, and loss of sensation.

A physical therapist can help the patient with posture correction and also help in the proper alignment of bones via messages, guided exercises, and modern equipment, making it crucial for proper recovery.

It helps in avoiding invasive surgeries

Invasive surgeries can be painful, costly, and dangerous. In addition, they often require a long recovery time. Another downside is that invasive surgeries can cause scarring and other physical disfigurements. Finally, there is always the risk of infection or other complications.

Perhaps you are done with the pain, and you are thinking that you are left with one option now; surgery. Albeit, surgery is expensive. On top of that, it also involves debilitating post-operative pain and longer downtime.

So, for patients who want to avoid going under the knife and want to get back to their day-to-day life as quickly as possible, physical therapy becomes the most suitable option.

Strengthen muscles to prevent future injuries

Muscular strength is not only necessary for mobility and agility, but it also protects you from future injuries. When an injury occurs to a body part, there is a higher risk of re-injury to the same area.

PT services can help the recovery process by guiding the patient about necessary lifestyle changes and exercises to develop long-term muscle strength to avoid re-injury.

Physical therapy can help you resume your daily activities, prevent future injuries, and get you back to doing what you love, and that makes it critical after an injury.

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