Here are the Three Big Goals When Prescribing Physical Therapy
When you’re in pain, whether due to an injury or recovering from surgery, the last thing you feel like you can take on is physical activity – including physical therapy, which may sound painful. But, that word “therapy” has a healing connotation to it. How could it be bad, then? Well, it isn’t. Most people find that physical therapy is a very impactful way to reduce pain, improve strength, and correct faulty movement patterns. Here at Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness Center, we focus on those three main goals in physical therapy.
Getting You Out of Acute Pain and Inflammation
To help push inflammation out of soft tissue, reduce muscle spasms, and ease pain, we use electric stimulation and ultrasound modalities (methods). These therapies are actually quite relaxing. All you need to do is sit or lay down for about 15 minutes while the electrical stimulation is applied on the affected area. We always adjust the level of stimulation to your comfort.
Ultrasound is then used. This includes applying a warm gel on the affected area. Then, a sound head delivers sound waves into the tissue. We often will use a natural pain relieving gel during this therapy, so you get the benefit of both the ultrasound and the pain relieving effect of the gel. This therapy is done in a private room. Patients often comment that they appreciate being able to sit in peace and quiet during their therapy.
[Related: Why Massage for Pain Relief is So Effective]
Stretching and Strengthening Muscles and Soft Tissue
Learning how to properly stretch your muscles is a very important step in physical therapy. At our office, we have a special rehab area where we teach you how to correctly stretch targeted areas. This helps to increase range of motion or relieve pain. Stretching therapy may be taught standing, sitting, or lying on an elevated platform – depending on the area being stretched. We even have what’s known as a “wobble chair.” It takes your spine through helpful ranges of motion to increase spinal flexibility and hydrate the discs of the spine.
Strengthening the supportive muscles of joints is also very important for increasing your stability and range of motion. Typically, this is done with small hand weights, therapeutic resistance bands, or simple body weight.
Functional Training and Correcting Faulty Movements
Correcting faulty movements is a key ingredient for decreasing risk of injury and improving overall physical performance. This is actually a really fun form of physical therapy. Here, we identify “weak links” in certain types of movement patterns that you may have. Here’s an example:
A highly competitive female basketball player is prone to knee injury. This is because every time she lands from a jump, her knees migrate inward. In our investigation, we find that she has comparatively weak buttock muscles that allow that type of movement of her knees.
You don’t have to be an elite athlete, though, to have faulty movement patterns. Regular people have them just the same. We love figuring them out and helping you correct them!
So, as you can see, physical therapy shouldn’t be intimidating at all. It all towards getting you back to enjoying all the things you like to do. In many cases, it can even be a fun experience. If you’re experiencing pain due to an injury or have a surgery scheduled and will be in need of physical therapy, please give our office a call and let’s set up a consultation appointment.