What to Expect From Physical Therapy

Burien physical therapy

Ouch! That mis-step has you aching and you?re thinking of of talking to your doctor. You?re in good company. Half of American adults get some kind of musculoskeletal injury every year that lasts for more than three months! We?re often hurting a knee, a hip, or maybe an ankle. And what about backs? 31 million people in the United States are feeling low-back pain as you read this.

Those are just the injuries. What about chronic conditions? Osteoarthritis, for example, is the most common form of arthritis and can really be described as wear and tear in joints over time. It happens most in the hip, knee, or hand. Lots of people have this, and it can really compromise quality of life.

If you?ve hurt yourself, your first stop is definitely a doctor: but probably next a physical therapist. Whether you need surgery or not, physical therapy is usually the route you?ll need to take to gain back hip strength, end knee pain, or generally strengthen an area that has been injured or worked on, or which is experiencing arthritis.

What should you expect with physical therapy? There are a few types of physical therapy treatments, and all of them are designed to improve your strength and flexibility while easing discomfort in the long run. In fact, some physical therapy can be preventative!

Exercise Therapy

This is the most common type. A physical therapist can help tailor exercises to your particular needs, targeting whatever issue you have. But exercise isn?t just to fix what?s already broken. It can also help prevent future health issues.

Exercise can include something as simple as walking, stretching and stability exercises to reduce stress on your joints, water aerobics, or weight lifting. Talk to a physical therapist about how to improve your

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy can be massage, or slow mobilization of bones and joints, or manipulation and pressure on a joint, such as the hip, to help it function as it should. These types of physical therapy help with blood flow, relaxation, easing tension around muscles, and particularly with flexibility. They are also designed to decrease physical pain.

There are a number of targeted therapies that help with very specific issues. For example, particular exercises can help with pelvic issues, like pain or incontinence. There can be wound care with oxygen treatment or specialized cleaning and bandaging. If you?ve had a hip replaced, the therapy will target hip stability by exercises to gain back hip strength and decrease pain.

Other specialized therapies can include electrical stimulation to cause muscles to contract and decrease pain, ultrasound therapy to stop muscle spasms, or simple application of hot or cold.

All physical therapists will also spend time educating you about your condition, the benefits of exercises, strategies for performing daily tasks and making your home safer for your needs, and ways to avoid re-injury.

Whether you?ve just injured a knee, have a scheduled hip replacement, or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, check out physical therapist recommended near you who can help you regain your flexibility and strength.

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