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World Physical Therapy Day 2018: Benefits Of Physical Therapy

Today (September 8) is the World Physical Therapy Day. It is observed to bring awareness about the crucial contribution physical therapists make to the society by keeping people physically well, mobile and independent. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of physical therapy.

What Is Physical Therapy?

It's a therapy in which trained physical therapists evaluate and treat patients with an abnormal physical function related to an injury, disease, health condition or disability.

A physical therapy program can help individuals return to their normal level of body functioning and support activities and lifestyle changes that can help prevent injury and improve overall well-being.

There are different types of physical therapy which includes pediatric physical therapy, geriatric physical therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, neurological physical therapy, orthopaedic physical therapy, wound care therapy, decongestive therapy, pelvic floor rehabilitation, and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy.

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is one of the best choices for treating long-term chronic pain or injury. Let's have a look at some of the benefits of physical therapy.


1. Replaces Surgery As A Treatment Option

Surgery isn't required if physical therapy can treat your pain, heal you from injury and improve your physical health. Physical therapy assists in healing injured tissues and facilitates mobility of the body, thus eliminating the need to go for a surgery. And if you do want to go for a surgery, pre-surgical physical therapy can put you in a better condition to withstand the surgery.


2. Improves Mobility And Balance

After a chronic pain injury or a big surgery, it's difficult for patients to get back on their feet. Movement of the body is restricted - activities like writing, eating, walking or balancing the body can be hard. This is where physical therapy comes in where therapeutic exercises can bring back balance and movement of the body.


3. Helps In Pain Management

Another benefit of physical therapy is that it helps in managing chronic pain, especially when you have musculoskeletal injuries. Physical therapy and therapeutic exercises such as stretching and strengthening exercises can help in the easy movement of your joints and soft tissues and enable muscle and joint function. This aids in eliminating pain altogether and if therapy is continued it will prevent pain from returning.


4. Helps In Recovery From Stroke Or Paralysis

The type of physical therapy required for recovery from stroke or paralysis is cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. It benefits the patients affected by cardiopulmonary conditions. It helps in strengthening those parts of the body that have lost partial movement after a stroke. Physical therapy helps to improve posture, balance and mobility of the patient so that the person can move independently.


5. Prevents Sports Injuries

Another aspect of physical therapy is that it assesses the vulnerable areas in the patient's body and the therapist prepares a therapy plan that helps to strengthen those vulnerable areas. By recognizing those weak areas of muscular or skeletal weakness, the therapist can analyze how likely the person will suffer an injury and create an exercise regimen that targets and strengthens those weak muscle groups and joints. This will further prevent injuries.


6. Manages Age-related Problems

As you age, you may develop neurological disorders and conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, etc. The physical therapy treatment involves increasing limb responsiveness, treating paralysis and increasing muscle strength by lowering muscle atrophy.


7. Manages Diabetes And Vascular Conditions

As a part of the diabetes management plan, physical therapy can help control your blood sugar through exercises which mainly consists of the right mix of aerobic exercises and weight strengthening exercises. This will help in managing your blood sugar levels.


8. Manages Women's Health And Other Conditions

Women with pregnancy-related issues and those in need of post-partum care can opt for a physical therapy. A physical therapist can offer treatment for other health conditions as well - like constipation, fibromyalgia, male pelvic pain, bowel and urinary incontinence.

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