It’s a great day to be out playing some field hockey with your friends. You get ready to sprint but all of a sudden, something stops you in your feet. Your knee feels locked and a sharp pain shoots up and down your entire leg. Fast forward to your visit to a doctor. He prescribes you some pain medication but refers you to a physical therapist and you find yourself questioning how that would be of any help.
In this case, and for several other cases, physical therapy has proven to be that health profession, which has transformed lives through movement. It has helped people regain their mobility and freedom from non-typical physical functioning.
What is Physical Therapy?
In simple words, physical therapy (PT) focuses on restoring your damaged functioning and brings you back to your optimal physical movement. It has a direct impact on the quality of your life and is not restricted to any particular age.
Physical therapy could be needed for various health related issues such as:
- Improving the ability to move
- Lessening physical pain
- Avoiding or recuperating from an injury caused by the playing of sports
- Averting the need for surgery
- Improving the balance to avoid accidents caused by falling or slipping
- Restoring the functioning of the heart following a stroke
- Managing diabetes and/or arthritis
- Easing navigation through pregnancy and postpartum
What does a Physical Therapist Do?
To become a physical therapist (often also interchangeably known as physiotherapists), health professionals undergo precise graduate-level training in the subject of physical therapy. They acquire a degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and then appear for a few national examinations.
This prepares them to be able to formulate the right kind of care plan for your particular condition following a careful and thorough evaluation. They will then inculcate certain exercises into your day to fix your complication(s) following several tests of your body.
Advantages of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is all about regulating blood pressure in the body. Areas where blood does not reach, renders that specific part of the body weak or redundant. Therefore, physical therapy helps in maintaining optimal blood circulation for the effective regeneration of damaged cells and also brings the following advantages:
- Feeling active again!
Many patients that require physical therapy have some sort of injury caused by playing sports. And so, with the help of physical therapy, most of them are able to regain their athletic potential.
- Reducing discomfort and pain
This is a very customary reason to opt for physical therapy as it brings effective relief and aids in pain management.
- Getting rid of headache
A natural way of reducing headache is via physical therapy. It does that by nourishing the stabilizers in your neck and stretching around muscles that might have turned stiff.
- Fixing your posture
With the help of the optimum treatment plan, you can be able to stand up straight, thus improving your posture, which is great for the long run!
- Improving your flexibility and balance
With so many gains, physical therapy appears to be a booming field and is expected to have a 30% growth in its jobs over the ensuing 10 years. So clearly, there must be something about this field! There are some facts about its history and what sets it apart from the other medical practices that people usually don’t know about.
Facts About Physical Therapy
- A Female Profession
The formally documented use of physical therapy arose in 1921, partially due to the first World War. An association was set up with two hundred and seventy-four members, known as the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association (AWPTA). This name was then changed in 1922 once men were also allowed to join.
- Various Types of Physical Therapy
This medical professional has several forms under its umbrella due to the different nature of each injury and body part. For example, cardiovascular rehab, acute care, wound care, post-operation care and orthopedic to name a few.
- Ancient Practices
The effectiveness of physical therapy was endorsed by some famous Greek philosophers Hippocrates and Galen from as early as 460 BC. Prehistoric writings from Egypt, Persia and China also depicted such practices for several diseases.
- Physical Therapists Know How to Give a Massage
But do not mistake them for your certified masseuse or expect a pleasurable massage in your next trip! Massages given by physical therapists are only a part of the program that could help in decreasing stiffness of tendons and aid with mobility of your tissues of an aching muscle.
- Vertigo Treatment
Those who suffer from vertigo understand how it can disrupt day-to-day tasks and activities. But, not many know that a physical therapist might be able to get rid of the symptom in a single session!
- Practical and Attainable Treatment
Patients who are often suggested expensive surgeries may find it more cost-beneficial to go for physical therapy instead, if their case permits. They would end up paying half the amount and would not require post-surgery therapy either. Rate of recovery, according to researches, stack side by side of those patients who opted for a surgery of the spine compared to those who underwent physical therapy for the same.
- Holds A Position Among the Top 10 “Happiest Jobs”
Even though it normally requires two academic degrees and approximately seven years to become a licensed physical therapist, it is still a desirable occupation. The profession was evaluated on salary, flexibility and growth of job and scored extremely well.
With all of that being said, part of the physical therapy session’s success, lies in the patient’s hand. The formulated treatment plan requires the patient to consistently follow through the routine while at home, not just during the visit. So when done correctly and with such vast evidence supporting its success, physical therapy is a working solution to many of man’s impediments.
Over the period of time, it has also become a rather popular remedy for those patients who prefer not taking medication. Furthermore, technology has enhanced its value, as it is cost-effective compared to any other form of treatment. The biggest advantage is that after one gets to know the pattern of physiotherapy required for a particular ailment, one can administer the treatment without having to visit a consultant repeatedly.