What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a treatment focused on restoring, maintaining or increasing strength and range of motion to damaged or injured limbs and joints. It is an integral aspect of treatment for a great many conditions, sometimes as a front-line method of care and sometimes as an important part of the surgical recovery process.
Common Reasons for Physical Therapy
Most orthopedic experts recommend physical therapy as part of a conservative and nonsurgical treatment plan for a large number of orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated discs
- Plantar fasciitis
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Spinal stenosis
Physical therapy is also an important part of recovery from such surgeries as:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) reconstruction
- Joint arthroplasty and revision
- Meniscus repair
- Rotator cuff repair
- Stenosis decompression
The above lists are noninclusive. Nearly any condition can be treated with physical therapy, especially before exploring surgical options. Likewise, physical therapy is an important part of recovery from most orthopedic surgeries.
Candidates for Physical Therapy
Candidates for physical therapy are people who have been diagnosed with one or more of a large number of musculoskeletal conditions. Physical therapy is often indicated by orthopedic surgeons as a way to avoid surgery. Physical therapy may also be appropriate for people recovering from surgery to treat a number of conditions.
Physical therapy can encompass one or more of the following:
- Supervised exercise: Exercise is a cornerstone of physical therapy. It is used to strengthen muscles and tendons and to restore, maintain or increase range of motion to a joint. Its goal is to prevent surgery or speed recovery from it.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound uses sound waves to reduce inflammation and provide short-term pain relief. It is mainly used for muscle and tendon strains.
- Electrical stimulation: There are a number of different types of electrical stimulation, but they all involve passing a low-level electrical current through tissue. Some will provide pain relief and can help stop muscle spasms, and some will help medicine penetrate the body.
- Lasers: Low-level laser therapy can help decrease pain and inflammation. It is often used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most of the time, physical therapy is a method of recovery from an acute injury, chronic condition or surgery, or it is used as a conservative measure to treat an injury or condition in order to avoid surgery.
Physical therapy is used by all subspecialties in Summit Medical Group’s orthopedics department. If you are interested in learning more about our physical therapy facilities, follow the link below and answer a few short questions. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for choosing Summit Medical Group.
Request an Appointment
If you’d like to request an appointment, follow the link below and answer a few short questions. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for choosing Summit Medical Group.