You have achy joints that are preventing you from being active or you’re trying to recover from a sports injury. Whatever the case, when there’s musculoskeletal damage of any kind, physical therapy can play an important role in helping improve your strength and mobility.
At Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine, we believe in the power of physical therapy, and we have devoted a portion of our practice to this important and effective approach to musculoskeletal healing.
In the following, our team of top-notch physical therapists explains why physical therapy is so important and how it can benefit anyone with damaged tissues.
The goal of physical therapy
There are many goals when it comes to physical therapy (PT), chief among them:
- Improving your quality of life
- Restoring pain-free function
- Preserving strength and range of motion
- Helping you to heal more quickly
- Returning to activity faster
- Preventing future injury or damage
While many people believe that physical therapy is simply exercise, the practice goes far deeper than that. First, we design strengthening and stretching programs that are tailored to your specific needs and goals. Second, we also include ice and heat therapies, manual therapies, electrical stimulation, and balance work as part of our PT services.
For example, if you have a knee or hip injury, we work toward strengthening the surrounding muscles to take the pressure off of the damaged connective tissue, allowing it space to heal. We also work toward preserving the range of motion in your joint while you heal so that, when you come out the other side, you can rely on them as you once did. We also help you navigate life more easily by training on steps and other real-world challenges.
When it comes to recovery, our PT is designed to keep you active so that healing resources can flow through the damaged tissues, allowing them to rebuild.
While helping you to heal from injury or surgery is one goal of physical therapy, it can also help with degenerative and chronic issues, such as arthritis or degenerative disc disease in your spine. Here again, we work on strengthening your muscles to provide more support, and we also work toward reducing inflammation, which in turn, reduces pain.
One small study of patients with chronic lower back pain found that subjects who had PT showed significantly improved disability and pain scores at the three-month and one-year marks compared to those who didn’t have PT.
Who can benefit from physical therapy
As we stated earlier, there are very few cases of musculoskeletal damage in which PT can’t play a valuable role. To give you an idea, we recommend PT for a wide range of problems, including:
- Sports injuries, such as torn ligaments and tendons
- Chronic back and neck pain
- Overuse injuries, such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Hip issues
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it illustrates the breadth and scope of the applications for physical therapy.
If you’d like to see for yourself how physical therapy can improve your life, contact one of our offices in West Orange or Westfield, New Jersey, to make an appointment at our dedicated physical therapy centers.