Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
If you recently suffered from an injury, had an operation of almost any kind, or suffer from chronic pain and illnesses, you need physical therapy. Two of the main improvements that will arise from physical therapy are increasing your physical activity and improving your muscular strength. Moving around and getting out of bed as soon as possible is a start, but will go a long way to improve your quality of life after an injury or surgery.
How can a physical therapist help?
After a surgery or an injury, your activity levels drastically decrease or can cease altogether. The lack of activity immediately affects your body. In fact, in as little as 24-48 hours of complete bed rest, your body will begin to lose muscle mass. The loss of muscle mass will negatively affect your balance, strength, cardiovascular health, and more.
Now you may be wondering, how can a physical therapist actually help me? The answer is quite simple. Most physical therapists today have a three-year doctorate degree and are highly specialized to treat injuries, surgeries, and chronic pain. The techniques they use include many advanced therapeutic practices combined with conventional techniques such as exercise, physical activity, and strength training.
Physical therapists are trained to develop a unique exercise and rehabilitation plan tailored to suit your individual fitness level and help you recover from your injury, surgery, or chronic pain as quickly and efficiently as possible. One of the main goals of physical therapy is to help you become more independent and continue being physically active after you are finished with your treatment.
Physical therapy is a springboard to help propel you
It is easy for many people to assume that physical therapy doesn’t work, but physical therapy itself is a springboard to help propel you to better health and quicker recovery. Keep in mind, though, that physical therapy is not a quick-fix treatment plan. It does require hard work and dedication. Americans, as a society, typically seek instantaneous results, which is why many people become discouraged after a week or two of therapy that may yield little to no results. The truth is that physical therapy takes time and effort on your part to work on your physical health outside of the therapy clinic, as well as time and effort during a therapy session.
If you find yourself trying to deal with injury, recovering from a surgery, or battling chronic pain, ask your doctor if physical therapy can help you. If it can, stay consistent and don’t give up after a few visits.