Physical Therapy: What Is It and When Do You Need It?

The human body is a fragile thing. For all our technological advancements and our ability to share knowledge with each other across multiple platforms, at the very root of it all, as far as nature is concerned, we are a fragile species. We aren’t as anatomically gifted as a lot of other organisms that we share this world with. We are susceptible to a wide range of diseases and we are weak for our size.

But despite all these disadvantages, we are able to thrive in the world because of our ability to make sense of ourselves and our environment better than any other species.

One way of understanding and healing the human body is through physical therapy. Physical therapy is a branch of rehabilitative health that makes use of a wide variety of specially-designed exercises and machines to help patients regain or even improve their physical ability.

Physical Therapy, What Is It?

Physical therapy can be used to treat anyone, not just athletes who are recovering from sports injuries. PT is also used to help treat people who are physically debilitated because of their body’s makeup. A few examples are infants who suffer from musculoskeletal birth defects, adults who have just undergone serious operations, and the elderly who have suffered a stroke. It’s also used to help adults treat sciatica, or nerve pain.

A physical therapy session usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to heal soft tissue. But your session’s length also depends on the extent of your injuries. After repairing damaged tissues, physical therapy helps to improve range of motion, reduce pain, and also increase strength.

When Do I Need It?

As a general rule, you should see a physical therapist if you experience any pain that hinders your movement and prevents you from performing your daily activities. If you experience pain that prevents you from doing routine things such as walking down the stairs, getting dressed, or reaching for high places, then that’s a sure indication that you need a physical therapist.

If you do determine that you need a physical therapist, it’s important to know that depending on the state you live in, you may or may not consult with a physical therapist without first seeing a doctor. Either way, you’re going to be asked about your medical history and you’re also going to undergo a physical exam.

Conclusion

So, you shouldn’t ignore any physical pain that keeps you from performing simple things. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. There’s a good reason that most therapists discourage the use of painkillers. This is because painkillers work by dampening the nerves that send the pain signals to your brain. The pain is relieved, but the injury remains and could potentially become even worse.