Why is physical therapy essential after an injury? In the short term, physical therapy aims to reduce or eliminate the acute pain caused by an injury. In the long term, it promotes injury healing and strengthens weakened muscles. Physical therapy is imperative to long-term recovery and drastically reduces the risk of chronic pain. If a patient delays having physical therapy after an injury, their symptoms often become worse and many times are more difficult to treat. A consistent physical therapy treatment plan can also help a patient avoid surgery after an injury. And if surgery is the only feasible option, physical therapy can be used to bolster and strengthen the body in preparation. It is also important to continue a physical therapy protocol following surgery.
Not only does physical therapy relieve pain and strengthen muscles, but it also improves joint function and restores muscle movement near the injury or surgery site. A typical physical therapy treatment plan is made up of three primary components: therapeutic exercises, patient education, and manual therapy techniques.
The Main Components of Physical Therapy:
- Therapeutic Exercises: This component includes exercises that help to restore function, regain stability, and increase mobility. Balance training, strength training, and resistance exercises are common examples of therapeutic exercises.
- Patient Education: This element involves teaching patients the right way to engage their muscles and move their body is an important goal of physical therapy. Establishing good habits and exercise routines gives patients an active role in improving their health. Education is also key in preventing future injuries.
- Manual Therapy: This technique requires the physical therapist to apply pressure to the injured area. This hands-on technique helps to relieve tension, mobilize joints, and decrease pain.
Physical therapy is hard work; however, the proven benefits of physical therapy are far-reaching and long-lasting. Physical therapy treatment assists the patient in attaining the best possible recovery outcome. A patient committed to a physical therapy plan is a patient committed to recovery and regained independence.
If you have experienced an injury and are in need of a physical therapy protocol. Dr. Mithoefer and the team of experts at New England Center for Regenerative Orthopedics and Sports Medicine would love to help you or your loved one! Call our office to book an appointment today.
Dr. Kai Mithoefer is board-certified in both Orthopedic Surgery and Orthopedic sports medicine specialist. Dr. Mithoefer is an internationally recognized specialist for complex shoulder and knee injuries with over 15 years of experience with the treatment of sports-related injuries. Dr. Mithoefer has published more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters and is a frequent speaker at national and international orthopedic meetings.