A healthcare provider or physical therapist can advise individuals about the benefits specific to their personal medical history and their need for treatment.
Often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.
It helps to optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. Physical therapists teach patients how to prevent or manage their condition so that they will achieve long-term health benefits
- Hand therapy for conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger
- Musculoskeletal dysfunction such as back pain, rotator cuff tears, and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
Sports-related injuries, such as concussion and tennis elbow
Depending on the reason for treatment, the benefits of physical therapy include:
- Pain management with reduced need for opioids
- Avoiding surgery
- Improved mobility and movement
- Recovery from injury or trauma
- Recovery from stroke or paralysis
- Fall prevention
- Improved balance
- Management of age-related medical problems
Orthopedic physical therapy treats musculoskeletal injuries, involving the muscles, bones, ligaments, fascias, and tendons. It is suitable for medical conditions such as fractures, sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, chronic medical problems, and rehabilitation or recovery from regenerative medicine. Patients may undergo treatment with joint mobilizations, manual therapy, strength training, mobility training, and other modalities.
Apart from physical manipulation, physical therapy treatment may involve:
- Ultrasound, to promote blood flow and healing by heating the tendons, muscles, and tissues
- Phonophoresis, which uses ultrasound to deliver certain medications such as topical steroids. This can decrease the presence of inflammation
- Electrical stimulation, or E-stim, which uses topical electrodes on the skin to reduce pain and increase functional capabilities. One type of E-stim is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). At times, anti-inflammatory medications are used with certain E-stim modalities and is referred to as iontophoresis
- Heat, moist heat and cold therapy
- Light therapy, in which special lights and lasers are used to treat certain medical conditions