Physical therapy encompasses a wide range of treatments designed to improve a person’s mobility and decrease pain. The end-goal of any therapy treatment is to make daily activities easier or increase physical fitness. Physical therapy is often recommended as part of a surgery recovery plan, but some doctors might suggest it for long-term health issues such as arthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The type of therapy received varies depending on the needs of the patient.
Types of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy treatments always include some form of exercise or physical stimulation, but there are usually a number of potential options available to accommodate the unique needs of physical therapy patients. In addition to stretching, core workouts, weight lifting or walking, your physical therapist might recommend:
- Manual Therapy (Bodywork): Manual therapy is intended to relax the patient, decreasing pain and increasing flexibility. Therapists can perform techniques such as massaging soft tissues, slowly moving body parts to help loosen muscles or applying pressure to the joint via manipulation.
- Electric Stimulation: Trained therapists can stimulate a person’s muscles with a controlled electrical current. At low levels this treatment can be used to reduce pain. The current also causes muscles to contract, offering a minimal form of exercise if a patient is unable to participate in a more strenuous activity.
- Hot and Cold Treatment: Cold packs can be applied to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation from injuries and conditions like arthritis. Heat is effective at relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow, accelerating the healing process.
Who Can Benefit from Physical Therapy?
- Because of the diverse treatment options available, physical therapy can help patients of all ages who have medical conditions or injuries that limit their movement or fitness. Patients can pursue physical therapy in order to:
- Reduce or eliminate chronic pain
- Improve or regain mobility lost to age or injury
- Recover from a sports injury
- Recover from a major surgery
- Improve balance and prevent falls
Be sure to speak with your primary care provider to discuss your condition and what forms of physical therapy might help improve your quality of life.
Speech and Physical Therapy in Colorado
At Therapies of the Rockies, our mission is to provide high-quality, professional speech and physical language therapy services. We specialize in treating patients of all ages, from pediatric to geriatric. Whether your concern is fall prevention, improving balance, recovering from injury or post stroke rehabilitation, we have the expertise and certified therapists to address your needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!