Physical therapy and physical rehabilitation are used in a variety of cases, ranging from sports injuries to upper back pain treatment to rheumatology treatment. Surprisingly, the treatments are also often used for young children, who are highly susceptible to sports and other kinds of injuries.
Physical therapy is an allied health profession
Physical therapy, which uses mechanical force and movement to improve physical mobility and functioning, has been practiced for thousands of years. In fact, some of the techniques used in physical therapy today are identical with those used around 2500 years ago. One of the first practitioners of physical therapy is believed to have been Hippocrates.
Therapeutic massage, manual therapy, and hydrotherapy are included among allied health professions. Physical therapy is used alongside other medieval services, or even provided as primary care. At present, there are around 200,000 physical therapists in the U.S. and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, their number will increase by 34% between 2014 and 2024.
Physical therapy for sports injuries
Physical therapy is widely used to speed up recovery from injuries and also to improve the quality of recovery. As many as 6 million people suffer from a broken bone each year in the U.S. Many people associate physical therapy with treatment for older adults, but it is widely used for children too. Children are disproportionally more susceptible to injuries, particularly sports injuries.
Out of the 30 million children who participate in organized sports each year, over 3.5 million suffer some kind of injury. The most dangerous sports for children are football, basketball, baseball and softball. Other types of injuries suffered by children result from falls, being struck by or colliding with an object, and just exhaustion. As many as 775,000 children younger than 14 years are treated in emergency rooms each year.
Chronic pain treatment
Physical therapy is also used for pain management in adults and seniors, and for osteoporosis and rheumatology treatment. Chronic pain, especially in problem areas like the back, neck and knees, is very difficult to treat though medication. Surgery may not help or may even make the situation worse.
At the same time, chronic pain is a widespread problem, and as many as one-fourth of all Americans suffer from one day of back pain in any given three month period, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Physical therapy can provide pain relief for chronic pain sufferers particularly in situations that are resistant to treatment through medication. Among its benefits, there are no side effects and no dangers of addiction to pain killing drugs.
Physical therapy has been practiced for thousands of years to improve health and wellness. It can be used alongside medical treatment for recovery and rehabilitation after injuries. It can also be use for osteoporosis and rheumatology treatment in adults.