Reap the benefits of physical therapy

Metro Service
While physical therapy can help heal injured parts of the body, it continues to evolve to assist with overall wellness.

■ Metro Service / Contributed

Injuries have the potential to sideline people for weeks, months or permanently. Injury to the body can occur when participating in organized sports, fitness regimens or even after being in an accident.
Recovering from incidents that can impact mobility and range of motion takes time, but physical therapy can help the body acclimate to regular activity once more. Physical therapy also can help healthy people as well.
Those who have suffered a sprain or a broken bone or even spent a duration of time immobile in the hospital due to an illness are often prescribed physical therapy as part of their follow-up treatment. Physical therapy programs try to progressively increase strength, improve mobility and help the body return to a state where it can function as best as possible. In many cases, a person can regain his or her original capabilities.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, a physical therapist is a trained and licensed medical professional who has the experience to diagnose physical abnormalities, restore physical function and mobility, maintain that function, and promote proper form for future activity. Physical therapy sessions can take place in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, fitness settings, private practices, and much more.
Not only can physical therapists react to and treat an injury, but they can also teach exercises, stretches and techniques to help prevent problems in the first place. Experts at Bay State Physical Therapy indicate that physical therapy extends beyond disabled or injured people. Physical therapists can educate a person on weaknesses in the body and can guide correction on poor body mechanics that cause pain. This way a person can make changes to prevent future pain and injury. Rather than being reactionary, healthy individuals can take a proactive approach to avoiding pain and injury.

When one opts for physical therapy, he or she may:
• Undergo a physical exam and evaluation of pain, movement, flexibility, and performance.
• Receive a clinical diagnosis and plan of care.
• Establish long-term goals.
• Participate in physical therapy treatment, which may include stretching, movement and weight-bearing activities based on the therapist’s guidance.
• Be given at-home work to further progress in between sessions.

While physical therapy can be used for recovery from strokes or paralysis, injuries, trauma, and musculoskeletal conditions, it also benefits healthy people. For example, women can use physical therapy to learn exercises that may prevent pelvic floor dysfunction. In addition, physical therapy can teach people how to improve their balance and prevent falls.
When people hear about physical therapy, they tend to think it is for people with injuries. While physical therapists can help heal injured parts of the body, physical therapy continues to evolve to assist with overall wellness.

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