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After suffering an injury or being treated for a medical issue, there are typically two main goals: stopping pain and restoring function. How these goals are reached depends on the specifics of the problem, but in many cases, one or more rounds of physical therapy will be involved. Just what does this therapy do, and what are some of the things it may entail?
Many people suffer from a reduced range of motion after they've completed the main treatment for an injury or other physical problem. This is especially true when the issues required treatments like surgery or cast immobilization, both of which weaken the muscles and surrounding structures. Then, patients often need a course of therapeutic stretches in order to stop the affected part from feeling like a log and get it to cooperate with normal attempts to move it.
Whether you want to be able to lift a can of peas or bench press 450 lbs., you will almost surely need to work on the strength of your now-healed body part(s) in order to get them to cooperate. Physical therapy and rehabilitation typically concentrate on the "functional" aspects of this cooperation. In other words, the main goals are more oriented toward helping with day-to-day tasks and work-related abilities than bodybuilding. Still, there are sports rehab programs for those who want to get to levels that surpass the average.
More and more, people are seeking to avoid surgery, other invasive treatments, the use of narcotic painkillers, and similar mainstays of standard medicine. Meanwhile, physical therapy methods have advanced enough to address many problems before they are "fixed" by other means. For example, a course of physical therapy can be used to redistribute forces in a shoulder or hip so that they no longer aggravate a painful area of cartilage. Since this stops the pain, surgery and painkillers are no longer needed.
While exercises still play huge roles in this discipline, there are far more types of therapy that now fall under this umbrella. Electrical stimulation of nerves to increase motion, work in pools to eliminate the need to bear weight, therapeutic massage, and more may be part of a rehab regimen. Each case is different, so good treatment plans are always tailored to the individual patient.
To get started on your own therapy plan, just give us a call here at Papa Chiropractic. We serve the areas of Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, and Port St. Lucie.