5 Inspiring Reasons to Use Physical Therapy as a Recovery Tool

1. Motion Is Lotion.

You get from your body what you give when it comes to health and well-being. The more time you spend in conscious movement, the happier your body will be. Conscious movement requires being fully present in your body and focusing solely on the exercise you are doing in the moment and how your body responds to the movement. Your physical therapist will design a customized plan based on your needs and then will teach you the most effective way to do each exercise, often incorporating strategically timed inhalations and exhalations.

2. Prevention And Resilience.

The exercises and movements your physical therapist teaches you can improve your overall health and empower you to mitigate future pain and discomfort associated with the injury. After you are dismissed from physical therapy and return to normal activities, you will likely experience muscle tension and pain as the muscle awakening and rebuilding process continues. By returning to the initial movements and stretches that helped you progress from ground zero to the next level, you can safely and strategically recover. Consistent practice of exercises and stretches will also keep your joints and muscles in good condition and less susceptible to a repeat injury or recurring pain.

3. Perks And Possibilities.

In addition to hands-on treatment and walking you through custom exercises, most physical therapists offer a variety of modalities to facilitate quicker healing. Depending on your treatment and needs, they may recommend and provide cold therapy such as ice packs, heat therapy, or electromyostimulation (EMS). EMS facilitates the contraction of skeletal muscles and has demonstrated efficacy in improvement of muscle function according to Gregory and Bickel. Localized massage is often a part of physical therapy to release tension and assist the affected area in recovery. Laser therapy is another modality that physical therapists may use to accelerate your healing. It involves a low level laser that promotes repair under the skin and works best for connective tissue and muscular injuries.

Perhaps the best and most overlooked perk is that physical therapists are great cheerleaders. No, they are not going to show up in pleated skirts chanting your name, and doing air splits, but they know the resilience of the body. They have seen physical therapy work on all kinds of people for all sorts of injuries and conditions (most likely worse than yours). Being in the presence of a person who believes your potential for healing as opposed to seeing you as injured takes the edge off the emotional weight a person carries after an intense injury. Having a person hold you in their gaze as a healthy person who has yet to accept that he or she can be fully functional and healthy is a huge advantage to recovery.

4. Physical Therapy Isn’t Just For Athletes.

Many people associate physical therapy with athletes and sports injuries, but in reality, physical therapy can have an incredible impact on a wide range of conditions. Carpal tunnel sufferers may be able to avoid shots and surgeries by improving posture, strengthening specific muscles, and doing exercises to relieve the nerve pressure that causes carpal tunnel pain. People have found relief from migraines via physical therapy, and the list goes on.

5. Increased Appreciation For Your Body.

Getting to know your body and how muscle groups work together is beneficial on several fronts. When recovering from an injury or surgery, it is often necessary to reawaken and rebuild muscles. Muscles that have not been used for months at a time not only lose strength but can retract and tighten due to the initial trauma. Physical therapy helps wake these muscles up, stretch them out, and retrain them to do what they are meant to do. In the beginning, this often means small movements and significant pain, both of which can be frustrating. However, it’s also an opportunity for appreciation as small improvements begin to show. From one session to the next, pain will decrease as mobility increases. It quickly becomes evident that your muscles haven’t deteriorated but rather that they to be reminded of their function and capability. The body is resilient, and with focus, effort, and appreciation, it can bounce back.

Follow Us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *