Physical therapy can be a great solution for people of all ages to regain or improve their strength, movement, and function. It can be done to treat a number of conditions affecting virtually any part of the body, especially the shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees, ankles, feet, and various muscles.
Whether you have:
- A sports injury
- A work-related injury
- A repetitive-stress injury
- A medical condition that affects your mobility
- Had recent surgery
- Have a persistent pain in a joint, bone, or muscle
Physical therapy could be the answer to getting you back out doing the things you enjoy, pain-free.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists are licensed medical professionals who have received extensive schooling, immense training, and clinical experience in restoring and maintaining a patient’s physical function and mobility. They work with each individual patient to design a program tailored to meet their specific needs in order to achieve a successful recovery.
The main goal of physical therapy is to get a person back to the point where they can perform normal, everyday activities without difficulty or pain. A physical therapist (PT) works through all phases of healing, through the recovery and preventive stage of care.
What Are the Benefits?
Physical therapy can offer many benefits, such as:
Improving Mobility and Balance
Physical therapy can help if you are having difficulty standing, walking, writing, or moving, regardless of your age. This may include strengthening and stretching exercises to restore mobility and coordination.
Your PT may assess you for orthotics (custom-made shoes or shoe inserts to improve alignment and posture), but the therapist can also recommend devices such as canes, walkers, and crutches to assist you in walking. A physical therapist can create a customized care plan to help you gradually build up mobility safely, and they can ensure that you can use your mobility devices successfully.
Reducing, Managing, or Eliminating Pain
Therapeutic treatments such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation can help to relieve pain, reduce aching, promote healing, and restore muscle and joint function. Continuing to regularly perform the physical therapy exercises can help prevent pain from returning.
A physical therapist can assess weak or vulnerable areas in the body which could be prone to injury, or areas that have suffered injury previously. The PT can then create a customized care plan to focus on and strengthen these areas.
Sports Medicine Knowledge
Physical therapists understand how different sports can increase the risk of specific types of injuries, such as sprains, muscle tears, and stress fractures. They can help to prevent and treat injuries relating to sports and/or exercise.
The therapeutic care plans for athletes focus on recovery and prevention of re-injury, with exercises to help ensure a safe return to the sport. Physical therapists can also work alongside athletes to improve their performance and endurance in their particular sport.
Recovering from Surgery
Physical therapy is vital to a patient’s recovery from certain types of surgery, especially those that affected the musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, and joints) or the nervous system (brain, nerves, and related coordination). It can help the patient restore function, manage pain, build up strength, and speed up the recovery and healing process.
Management of Age-Related Medical Conditions
Physical therapy can help with conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Physical therapy is inherently geared toward reducing pain and increasing mobility, which are integral to living a fuller life with these age-related conditions.
Management of Health Conditions
Physical therapy can be very beneficial for a number of health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Recovery from a stroke
- Women’s health issues
A physical therapist can help to strengthen the areas of the body affected as well as to improve balance and gait, so the patient can have a greater level of independence at home. Physical therapy can improve cardiac and lung conditions with breathing and strengthening exercises, which the patient should then continue to perform on a daily basis to maintain strength and optimum health.
Physical Therapy and Orthopedics in Panama City
At Florida Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, our primary goal is to help our patients improve their mobility and function, so they can return to their active lifestyles as quickly as possible.
Dr. James Talkington is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. He treats general and pediatric orthopedic conditions, sports-related injuries, and work-related injuries, and he specializes in shoulder and knee problems. He also treats injuries and conditions of the elbow, wrist, ankle, and foot. Dr. Talkington will suggest nonsurgical treatments whenever possible, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and pain-relief injections.
At Florida Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, every member of our team works together to ensure that you receive the best possible care. We welcome you to our practice, and we appreciate the opportunity to help restore your quality of life.
For an appointment, call our Panama City orthopedic office at (850) 763-0346 today or complete our online appointment request form. We look forward to getting you back to enjoying your active lifestyle again!