Physical therapy is often misunderstood. Some people think that it’s a waste of time, while others swear by its ability to make them feel better. The truth is, physical therapists are the only medical professionals who specialize in treating pain and disability due to movement problems.
They can help you get back on your feet after an injury or illness, and prevent future injuries from happening. If you’re not convinced yet, here are 5 things that should change your mind about whether physical therapy is worth it for you.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on restoring function, improving pain and preventing disability.
When you first come to physical therapy, your therapist will talk to you about your injury, symptoms and day-to-day activities.
From there, they’ll determine the best way for you to treat your pain and get back on track.
Most of the time, physical therapy involves some form of hands-on treatment like massage or exercise to improve muscle strength and flexibility.
What types of people can benefit from physical therapy?
People with chronic or acute pain, injuries, arthritis, and other medical conditions can benefit from physical therapy.
What you need to know about physical therapy
1. Physical therapists understand pain better than anyone else
It’s no secret that pain can be debilitating. Not only does it hurt, but it also makes simple everyday tasks nearly impossible to do on your own. It’s easy to end up in a state of learned helplessness when you’re in pain, and physical therapists understand this better than anyone else.
Physical therapy is not just about getting people moving again after an injury or illness—it’s also focused on helping them get back their quality of life by incorporating simple movements into everyday activities so they can do as much as possible on their own.
The best physical therapists know how to use a combination of hands-on treatment and patient education to help you get back what you’ve lost—and more.
2. Physical therapy can help prevent future injuries
Injuries don’t just occur out of the blue—they happen because you’re doing things that put too much stress on your muscles, bones, and joints. In other words, injuries are a result of everyday life. The good news is that physical therapists can help keep this from happening in the future by teaching you which movements to avoid and how to properly do the ones that are unavoidable.
Physical therapists can also help you recover from an injury or illness faster by teaching you how to do your exercises correctly and safely so they have a better chance of being effective. An experienced physical therapist will be able to provide insight into what’s causing your pain, which means you’ll know for sure if you need to make any changes.
3. Physical therapy improves your quality of life
Physical therapists know how to get people moving again, but they also understand the importance of helping them become more active so they can improve their quality of life. The best physical therapists are focused not just on getting you back to your daily activities, but also help you do them more efficiently.
Many people see their doctor when they’re in pain or have an injury that makes it difficult for them to move—but then end up sitting around at home because they don’t know how to properly exercise on their own. This is where a physical therapist can help you out—they’ll teach you how to do the exercises correctly, and then show you that they’re easy enough for anyone to do on their own at home or even while traveling.
Being able to feel good about yourself no matter what life brings your way is important—and it’s something physical therapists understand better than anyone else.
When you’re able to live life on your own terms again, it’s a win-win for you and your therapist.
4. It Helps You Get Back to Doing the Things You Love
Physical therapy may not seem like it’s for you, but if you have an injury or illness that’s preventing you from doing the things you love, it’s time to reconsider. Physical therapists are trained health care professionals who can help get your body back on track so you can do all of the activities that matter most to you—and improve your overall quality of life in the process.
Anyone at any age or fitness level can benefit from physical therapy because everyone has something they want to accomplish—whether it’s walking their dog again or playing softball with friends.
The great thing about physical therapy is that what works for one person may not work for someone else, which means there’s a plan personalized just for them and only for them. In other words, every single patient gets exactly what they need with physical therapy.
5. Physical therapy is a treatment for several medical conditions
Physical therapy is often the best treatment for people who have suffered from an injury. Physical therapy helps them heal faster and restore vitality. Also, patients who have undergone surgery benefit from physical therapy. It plays a crucial role in recovery.
Other medical conditions that may require physical therapy include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Erectile Dysfunction
6. Masseuses are not physical therapists
There are many misconceptions that liken physical therapists to masseuses. Some people think they do the same thing. This couldn’t be further away from the fact.
Physical therapists are highly trained and certified specialists who require extensive education to obtain a license to practice.
Masseurs on the other hand are only trained to provide massages for the intent of relaxation, discomfort and stress relief.
The type of massage performed by physical therapists on patients follows a specialized procedure and achieves an entirely different purpose – to improve muscle function, mobility, and promote physical health. And if this is what you’re trying to achieve, you need a physical therapist, not a masseur.
Generally, hiring a competent physiotherapist is essential. If you are overweight, physical therapy has been found to also help with weight loss. So, you might want to consider seeing a physical therapist for this too.