The last time a doctor recommended that I went to see a physical therapist, I had a stress fracture from too much running in shoes that were not designed for running. I know, I know, always get the right shoes…
I didn’t consider the benefits of physical therapy because I had a bone injury, and I thought, “How is working my muscles going to help my bone heal faster?” Well I soon did my research and found that there are so many ways in which this could have helped me. For instance, the muscles and ligaments work together to keep my bone in place, so it was crucial that they remained strong even if my running stopped. Here’s a list of what I found in case you are, like I was, skeptical about the benefits of physical therapy.
1. Physical Therapy Improves Mobility And Motion
When it comes to quality of life, motion is essential, and while we usually take mobility for granted, we must realize that without it, everyday tasks would be extremely difficult. Imagine emptying a dishwasher with a stiff lower back, or bending to pick up a toy when your knee is in great pain. That’s where physical therapy comes in- with the aid of highly trained specialists you can learn how to perform certain ranges of motions that improve your mobility. The exercises themselves are not too demanding (so they don’t discourage those who are sedentary), and they can be learned so as to be performed at home.
2. Helps Manage Pain Without Abusing Medication
Although medicine has its purpose in the healing process, especially when the pain of your injury is hindering your lifestyle, it isn’t something we should abuse. In order to make sure that you are not using too many pain killers you can help your body find natural ways of diminishing the discomfort through physical therapy. If you have ever had a really good massage done to you after a workout, for instance, when all your soreness and stiffness of the muscles went away, you will know what I mean. Apart from this, many injuries that involve stiffness are painful, so when physical therapy helps improve your flexibility, they also diminish the painful symptoms.
Injuries involving muscles, ligaments or joints (which are very common with those who work out constantly or who practice some sort of sport) can cause parts of the body to become stiff, and without proper exercises like those in physical therapy it can take a very long time to heal and regain flexibility in the afflicted area.
3. Provides A Conservative Option To Surgery
Realistically speaking, nobody looks forward to surgery, and physical therapy is a very accessible option. Of course, surgery is absolutely necessary sometimes, but for those times when it is not mandatory, you can go to a specialized physical therapist who will guide you through healing exercises. Even if surgery is necessary, physical therapy can be used both before and after to improve recovery time.
Did you ever go through physical therapy, and do you feel it helped? Share your experience with physical therapy with us by leaving a comment.