If you are living with pain and putting off seeing a physical therapist, the chances are that you are wondering to yourself, “Does physical therapy work?”
In short, yes.
Physical therapy (PT) from a trained professional is highly effective at treating orthopedic injuries and conditions. EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region’s team of board-certified, fellowship-trained physical therapists is versed in the most current, cutting-edge treatments to get you back to a pain-free, active lifestyle.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy aims to ease pain and restore function to your body. Physical therapists guide patients through exercise regimens, stretching, massage techniques, and using adaptive equipment to achieve goals established during the first session.
Whether physical therapy is prescribed to support recovery from surgery or ease your way back into physical activity after an injury, it helps you regain strength and mobility and return to activity. Among the most common reasons to get physical therapy include:
- Relieving pain
- Improving flexibility and movement
- Rehabbing after surgery
- Recovering from injury
- Preventing surgery
- Improving balance
Many patients begin treatment by working with a physical therapist, often to avoid more invasive treatments like surgery. While physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons work together, most surgeons prefer that patients try more conservative options like physical therapy before recommending surgical intervention.
In this way, physical therapists are the first line of defense against ongoing pain and discomfort and for injury recovery. In fact, PT can solve many of the injury-related problems you face. If your condition does not improve or worsens, surgery is still an option. You can expect additional physical therapy post-surgery to lay the foundation for your healing process.
How Physical Therapists’ Expertise Aids Your Healing Process
Some patients are skeptical about physical therapy at first and may even wonder, “Does physical therapy work?” After all, if there is a chance they could need surgery anyway, some people may be reluctant to even try working with a physical therapist.
However, once those patients learn more about the art and science of physical therapy, they quickly realize the incredible healing benefits it can have. Physical therapists study their profession for years. They have a deep and complex understanding of the inner workings and interrelations between body parts and muscle groups.
For example, while you might feel pain in your shoulder, a physical therapist may recognize that the root cause of that pain is musculoskeletal problems in your neck or spine. A physical therapist’s education and experience allow them to identify what is happening in your body and recommend the most effective exercises.
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
Once you know that PT is the best path to your recovery, therapy begins with a physical assessment. In that assessment, your therapist observes your movement patterns, tests your muscle strength, and records the range of motion in your joints.
Based on what they learn from the physical assessment, your physical therapist diagnoses your ailment or confirms your orthopedist’s findings. Together, you will set short and long-term goals for your recovery so you can gauge your progress and make the most of your session.
Once you know what you are trying to achieve, you will start performing therapeutic exercises. Patients complete full recovery workouts during in-person sessions and provide detailed instructions for exercises to perform at home between sessions. While your therapy visits are vital to giving instruction and gauging your process, the bulk of your recovery takes place at home.
Some people are hesitant about physical therapy because they are concerned about pain and whether the exercises will cause increased discomfort. It is normal to feel some soreness during and after therapy visits since the exercises often work on weak or tense muscles. The exercises should never hurt, though, and your therapist will not recommend exercises or increase the intensity to the point of reinjury.
Keep in mind, as well, that even if you are sore at the moment, 41% of patients who were looking for a drug-free pain relief option found alleviation through physical therapy. As long as you complete your prescribed course of therapy, follow the therapist’s recommendations, and do your part at home, you are likely to discover that your body recovers faster and you are stronger than you might expect.
Is Physical Therapy Worth Your Time and Money?
If you are still wondering, “Does physical therapy work?” and whether or not it is worth your time and money, consider the potential results of physical therapy:
- Accelerate your healing process
- Get back to your normal active lifestyle
- Live without chronic pain
If an orthopedic specialist has yet to diagnose your pain, or if you are looking for quality physical therapists to treat your injury, EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region has you covered. We have a team of the best orthopedic specialists and physical therapists who are eager to see you return to your active lifestyle as soon as possible.
To self-schedule an orthopedic appointment with a specialist or therapist, click here. Or, call us any time at (919) 220-5255.