Physical therapy is one of the most common forms of treatment for a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. It can help calm an irritated nerve, improve joint stability or increase your functional range of motion, but these gains don’t just happen by chance. That’s because physical therapy isn’t a passive treatment technique, you have to work to experience the greatest functional improvement. We help clients achieve this by putting the “physical” back in physical therapy, and we explain what we mean by that in today’s blog.
Why Physical Therapy Needs To Be Physical
After an injury, it’s common to try and treat the problem with some passive techniques. You may rest in the short-term, take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or use a hot pad or cold pack, but these are only effective for very mild injuries. For issues like ligament damage after an ankle sprain or joint stiffness in your knees, you’re going to need to attack the problem head-on with an active treatment like physical therapy.
But why is this active treatment so important? Mainly it’s because we understand that you live an active life, so we need to make sure muscles, ligaments and joints are functioning properly when you are performing these actions. You may feel comfortable when you’re lying down or sitting in a chair, but you also need to be pain free when you’re moving, otherwise daily activities will be miserable. We want to get you back to doing all of the activities you love in a safe and functional manner, and that won’t happen if you just lay in bed with an ice pack on your ankle after a fracture.
Physical therapy will use physical exercises to push you out of your comfort zone so that you make the biggest functional improvements. Muscles become stronger and joints become more stable with activity, so we’re going to challenge you to be physically active throughout our sessions.
By putting the “physical” back in physical therapy, we also help to restore a client’s confidence in their physical capabilities. Returning to sports or a physical job can be daunting if you’re not sure how your body will respond to the stress you’re about to throw at it. If you’ve just been resting or icing your injury, it’s normal to have these feelings of doubt because you truly don’t know how your body will respond when it’s thrust into the spotlight. However, if you’ve been performing physical activities or exercises that mimic the motions you’ll be performing upon your return, you’ll know that your body is capable of handling stress because you’ve already seen it during physical therapy. Don’t return to the team in a passive or scared state of mind because you’re not sure if your body can handle the activity, know that you can because you’ve been challenging your body through physical exercises during PT.
At the end of the day, physical therapy needs to be physically challenging because we care about your long-term health. We want you to be able to return to all of your old activities without pain or fear of a setback, and the best way to do that is by carefully increasing the amount of stress your body can handle during specific physical actions.
If you want therapy to be easy, look for another clinic. We’ll certainly listen to your concerns and work to build the perfect rehab plan based on your strengths and deficiencies, but we’re going to challenge you physically during our sessions because we know that this is the best way for clients to make the fullest recovery. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of therapy, so you’re only cheating yourself if you’re looking for passive treatment techniques. Let our team work with you to help you become the fittest version of yourself through an active PT session.
For more information or to get started on your journey to improved health, give the team at OrthoRehab Specialists a call today at (952) 922-0330.
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