People often think of physical therapy as something only athletes engage in after an injury to help them get back into the game. While that’s true, physical therapy goes far beyond this niche and plays an invaluable role in many other circumstances, from managing arthritis to recovering from a stroke.
October is National Physical Therapy Month in the United States, so the team here at Commonwealth Pain and Spine decided to take a closer look at the myriad ways you can benefit from physical therapy (PT).
The first thing to understand about PT is that it’s a technique designed to work with your musculoskeletal system to help restore:
We also turn to PT to manage and alleviate pain.
Ultimately, the goal of PT is to improve your quality of life and your ability to function at whatever level is appropriate for your circumstances. Whether you’re a runner who wants to compete in a marathon or you simply need to get up and down your stairs safely, PT can help you achieve these goals.
To give you an idea of the wide range of conditions that can benefit from PT, let’s take a look at 10 of the more common we see here at our physical therapy centers. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it illustrates how versatile PT can be.
Americans are no strangers to arthritis and joint pain — more than 92 million adults have arthritis or arthritis-like symptoms. Through PT, we can strengthen the supporting muscles of your joints, preserve or restore range of motion, and reduce inflammation and pain.
Knee issues, such as torn ligaments or problems in your kneecaps, are very common and can profoundly affect your ability to move freely. One of the best ways to regain function in your knee is through PT. In fact, one report states that “Knee exercise reduces short-term and chronic pain while contributing to improved functional capacity in the medium to long term.”
If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, we can help strengthen the muscles in your back to take the pressure off your spine through PT.
Neck pain often presents as stiffness, which can hamper your ability to turn your head. Through targeted stretching and strengthening exercises, we can help you move your head freely and painlessly.
If you’ve had a stroke, PT plays an integral role in restoring physical function.
For example, if you’re weak on one side, we concentrate on strengthening and balance exercises.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a regimen of stretching exercises can free up your flexor tendons and reduce the pain and other symptoms in your wrist and hand.
Plantar fasciitis can make your first steps in the morning miserable. Through PT, we can help you hop out of bed without experiencing searing pain across the sole of your feet and in your heels.
If you’ve had a surgical procedure on a bone, tendon, or ligament, we can help you heal more quickly and safely through PT.
Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries, and they can also haunt you well into the future if you don’t treat the initial sprain properly. With PT, we help you strengthen your ankle so you can prevent ankle instability in the future.
Each year in the United States, 300,000 people aged 65 and older are hospitalized with hip fractures, three-quarters of whom are women. Women are more prone to bone loss and osteoporosis as they age, making PT a very good preventive practice. Through PT, we improve your balance and strengthen your musculoskeletal structure to avoid falls and fractures.
If you would like to learn more about how PT can benefit your health, please make an appointment with one of our physical therapy experts at a location near you. We have offices in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. Indiana offices are in Evansville, Vincennes, New Albany, Carrollton, and Jasper. We also serve patients in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.