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5 Benefits of Physical Therapy for Improved Mobility

February 5, 2024

Acupuncture Q & A

What Is Acupuncture Treatment?

Acupuncture is a type of treatment that originated in China more than 3,000 years ago. Acupuncturists use extremely slim needles, placing them in key areas on the body to alleviate pain in a natural way. The needles create a balance in the body’s energy, which allows the body to return to its optimal pain-free state.

There are several types of acupuncture. In moxibustion, moxa taken from dried mugwort warms key areas and helps with smooth qi energy flow. In auricular acupuncture, points on the outer ear are stimulated for healing. In cupping therapy, suction is used to help stimulate blood flow and promote healing.

If ongoing back stiffness or ankle sprains have you struggling day-to-day, you’re not alone. Many resort to pain medications and even surgery when safer pathways to healing exist. 

Physical therapy can provide customized exercises, hands-on techniques, and heating modalities, leveraging your body’s remarkable ability to mend itself when supported appropriately.

Think of it as adding fertilizer, ample sunlight, and water to revive a neglected garden. Your body knows how to blossom when nurtured by expert physical therapists guiding the conditions for growth tailored to your needs. 

The goal is easing nagging pain, regaining comfortable mobility, and restoring your highest functioning long-term without pharmaceuticals or invasive procedures.

In this article, we’ll explore the multitude of benefits possible through customized physical therapy, overview what conditions it can effectively treat, and spotlight how techniques like guided stretches, joint mobilization, gait retraining and more help patients achieve lasting relief.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do? 

Physical therapists are licensed medical professionals who help patients regain mobility and function when medical issues disrupt normal movement. Their toolbox of techniques include:

  • Personalized therapeutic exercises using resistance bands, weights, or one's own body to rebuild deficient areas
  • Posture and walking retraining to properly perform daily activities 
  • Modalities like heat, ice, electrical stimulation to facilitate healing
  • Patient education on managing health conditions and preventing future problems

The goal is to restore natural pain-free movement capacity without reliance on medication or invasive interventions. Physical therapists empower patients to tap into the body's remarkable ability to heal itself when given the right support. 

Over time, they rebuild capability and confidence so patients can actively participate in meaningful life activities.

Conditions Treated by Physical Therapy   

which patient would benefit from physical therapy?

Physical therapists have extensive clinical experience treating a wide range of health conditions causing pain or mobility impairment. Here are some of them:

  • Physical therapists, like the ones at Complete Wellness, can help with various musculoskeletal problems. For joint or spinal arthritis causing chronic stiffness, they provide gentle mobilization techniques to lubricate areas that have lost normal glide. It’s like re-oiling a creaky door hinge. For sudden injuries like fractures or sprains, they gradually progress flexibility and movement in the injured area while preventing complications in surrounding muscles and joints. 
  • Neurological conditions like stroke, spinal cord injuries, or Parkinson’s disease can make coordination difficult. Physical therapists use targeted exercises to rebuild the neuromuscular connections between your brain and muscles that make everyday motions possible. 
  • For cardiopulmonary diseases like asthma or pulmonary fibrosis, breathing exercises expand lung capacity similar to exercise for muscles. This allows oxygenating more fully.  Treatment after hospitalization for pneumonia or surgery helps clear fluid buildup slowing recovery.  
  • Elderly patients also benefit from fall prevention, balance training, and coaching on joint protection during daily activities. For children, developmental exercises facilitate hitting movement milestones. Pre- and post-natal care addresses musculoskeletal changes from pregnancy.

How Can Physical Therapy Help You?

Physical therapists have numerous techniques to facilitate injury healing, chronic disease management, and mobility improvement without medications or surgery. Here are some of the benefits:

1. Reduced Pain and Improved Mobility

Physical therapists use gentle joint mobilization techniques to restore normal slide and glide capacity in stiff joints that have lost movement from arthritis or injuries. It’s like lubricating a sticky door hinge so it can open freely again. 

Targeted stretches also lengthen painfully shortened muscles while contracted ones are strengthened. This progressively regains coordination.

2. Increased Strength and Coordination

They create custom exercise programs using your body weight, resistance bands, or weights to rebuild deficient muscle strength around vulnerable joint areas gradually. It’s similar to incrementally increasing staircase weights as leg muscles get stronger. 

They also prescribe agility drills you practice to retrain proper movement patterns in all directions. 

3. Faster Recovery from Injury or Surgery

If recovering from surgery or injury, physical therapists gradually guide movement again soon after to maintain flexibility despite immobilization needing initial healing. 

Slowly increasing activity and weight levels on healing tissues lets patients regain flexibility without overstraining. This is like slowly removing stabilizing screws in a healing bone so it can bear weight again. It prevents setbacks that slow recovery.

4. Enhanced Function and Quality of Life

Retraining optimal posture, walking gait, and transitional motions between positions like sitting to standing, prepare you to retake daily activities with greater comfort and confidence. It’s akin to refining dance movements so they flow smoothly. 

This makes returning to everything you enjoy possible again. 

5. Drug-Free and Non-Invasive Treatment

By nurturing your body’s natural healing capacities, customized physical therapy avoids reliance on medications or invasive options like surgery to resolve many conditions causing pain or mobility limitations. Complete Wellness is a strong advocate of the same as it focuses on identifying the root cause while helping the patient heal holistically.

Take the First Step Toward Lasting Pain Relief

how does physical therapy work

In summary, high-quality physical therapy offers immense benefits spanning reduced pain, improved coordination, faster post-injury healing, enhanced function in daily activities, and avoiding unnecessary medication reliance. 

However, success requires personalized treatment matching the right techniques to each patient's needs.

At Complete Wellness, our licensed physical therapists combine hands-on joint mobilization, customized therapeutic exercises, ultrasound therapy, and other proven modalities into integrated programs tailored to your health goals. 

Our physical therapists facilitate lasting pain relief, improved mobility, faster healing, and enhanced function while avoiding unnecessary medication reliance. 

Take the first step by booking an appointment so we can help you reclaim the active, joyful lifestyle you deserve. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is physical therapy always beneficial?

While physical therapy is highly effective for many conditions, outcomes depend on getting an accurate diagnosis and following the customized treatment plan. When appropriately matched to a patient’s needs through an expert assessment like how Complete Wellness does, physical therapy can facilitate recovery and improved mobility.

2. Can physical therapy build muscle?

Yes, physical therapists frequently prescribe targeted strengthening exercises using weights, resistance bands, or one's body weight to selectively rebuild muscle mass and support weakened areas. This muscle building helps stabilize vulnerable joints.

3. Can you lose weight by doing physical therapy?

While the primary goals are restoring mobility and reducing pain, the aerobic and functional exercises often incorporated into physical therapy can aid weight loss through increased caloric burn when applied consistently. However, core diet changes are needed for substantial weight reduction.  

4. Should you do physical therapy exercises every day?

Generally, patients should complete their prescribed home exercise programs 3-5 times per week alongside hands-on treatment sessions for optimal response. Therapists tailor exercise frequency/volume to avoid overexertion based on diagnosis and response.

5. What happens when you do physical therapy?

Physical therapists perform hands-on joint and soft tissue mobilization, prescribe targeted therapeutic exercises, utilize modalities like heat/ice, and conduct gait/posture retraining. This is customized by diagnosis to reduce pain and enhance mobility/function without medication reliance.

Complete wellness

Medically reviewed by Complete Wellness on Feb 16, 2024

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