Physical therapy and recovery from injury
Physical therapy can help you recover from an injury
and avoid future injury. Your physical therapist can help you reduce pain in the soft tissues (muscles, tendons,
and ligaments), build muscle
strength, and improve flexibility, function, and range of motion. He or she can also evaluate how you do
an activity and make suggestions for doing the activity in a way that is less
likely to result in an injury.
Physical therapy and chronic health conditions
Physical therapy can help you live more easily with chronic or ongoing
health conditions such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, and Parkinson's disease. Your physical therapist will work with you to establish your
goals. Then he or she will create a program of educational, range-of-motion, strengthening,
and endurance activities to meet your needs.
Physical therapy and health conditions requiring a rehabilitation team approach
Some conditions involve several body
systems and can lead to significant disability. These conditions—such as
stroke, spinal cord injury, and major cardiopulmonary (heart and
lung) problems—are usually addressed by a team of health professionals through programs such as cardiac rehab and stroke rehab. The
team can include doctors; nurses; physical, occupational, and speech
therapists; psychologists; and social workers, among others.
therapists are a critical part of this team. They address the issues of range of
motion, strength, endurance, mobility (walking, going up and down stairs,
getting in and out of a bed or chair), and safety. The physical therapist may
also get you the equipment you need, such as a walker or wheelchair, and make
sure you can use the equipment appropriately.
Physical therapy and significant health conditions of childhood
Physical therapists also work with children who have
major injuries or health conditions, such as cerebral palsy. They address the usual issues
of range of motion, strength, endurance, and mobility. Also, the therapist considers the child's special growth and developmental needs.
Treatment is often provided in the school or in a facility just for
children. The way physical therapy and other services are delivered in the
schools varies among the states. Talk to your child's doctor, school, or your
local health department if you think your child may qualify for evaluation or