physical therapy benefitsPhysical therapy can help you accomplish your goals and live a pain free life after an injury. A physical therapy regimen is tailored specifically to your body’s needs. Your Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine and Sports Medicine physical therapist will perform a full evaluation and create a personalized treatment plan to improve your body’s functionality, decrease pain, and meet your life and fitness goals.

My back and joints hurt. How can physical therapy help me?

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy for your spine if you’ve been in back pain for more than a few weeks, or if your back pain frequently returns. Physical therapy for back pain has two components: passive therapy like icing, ultrasound, and massage to decrease acute pain, and active therapy, which includes exercise and stretching. For example, your physical therapist may teach you some basic hamstring stretches to keep your body limber, and exercises to strengthen your core. Together, these types of therapies will greatly aid in your recovery and keep you on the move.

Physical therapy has also been shown to decrease joint pain effectively. According to a clinical study, patients who went to physical therapy for knee arthritis had twice the pain relief and increase in function than patients who did a home exercise program, and the pain relief continued to last a year later! Physical therapy can help your joints by reducing joint pain and stiffness from arthritis and injuries. After a full evaluation for your joint pain, your physical therapist will teach you proper posture and healthy ways to accomplish daily activities to relieve pain, help you learn to use assistive aids like walkers and canes, recommend different treatment options, like braces, splints, shoe orthotics, and hot and cold therapy to reduce pain and stiffness in your joints. Physical therapy will keep you limber, and keep you moving.

What about if I’m losing muscle?

Physical therapy can help you regain muscle strength and muscle mass after injury, illness, or losing muscle in the aging process. Physical therapy workouts for muscle atrophy focus on improving flexibility and regaining muscle through strength training exercises, which can also decrease joint pain.

Do I need physical therapy after I have surgery?

Physical therapy is especially important when recovering from surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help strengthen the bones, muscles, joints, or ligaments around where you were surgically repaired. Therapy sessions will help you regain the full range of motion in your muscles and joints and make a full recovery. For example, if you need a total knee replacement, your physical therapist will work with you afterwards to strengthen the muscles in your legs, and help you regain your balance and gait as you learn to walk on your new knee. A physical therapist can also help diagnose problems or complications after surgery that you might not see.

Most importantly, physical therapy after surgery will help you get back on your feet faster than doing exercises at home. A clinical study of total knee replacement patients showed that the patients who visited physical therapists achieved satisfactory outcomes 20 days faster than patients who did exercises on their own.

The benefits of physical therapy are clear. Working with a trained physical therapist aids in the healing process and helps you get back to the life you want to be living. Contact our experienced medical specialists at Hampton Roads Orthopaedics Spine and Sports Medicine for an evaluation to learn how physical therapy can help.