Physical therapy is sought to help patients rebuild strength and restore mobility and functions of affected areas after an injury. Physical therapy techniques will help patients manage pain and avoid permanent damage. These techniques will enable patients get back to maximal function and live injury free lives.
Physical therapy techniques are also effective in pain management. Physical therapists have extensive training and thorough understanding of the biomechanics of the human body. They can zero in the specific problem areas from the way our bodies function. This knowledge enables them to reduce pain. For pain treatment, physical therapist may use either passive or active therapy.
Some examples of passive physical therapy techniques are heat/ice packs, ultrasound and TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Stretching, strengthening and low-impact aerobic conditioning are some of the active physical therapy techniques being used for pain relief.
Physical therapy techniques are also used for patients after surgery. Physical therapists understand the limitations of the human body and surgical procedures that guide them to design a post-surgical rehabilitation plan to hasten recovery.
Physical therapy techniques are applied to health problems that limit mobility and flexibility. After an evaluation based on the symptoms, the physical therapist will create a treatment plan that will help the patients with coordination, flexibility, endurance and strength.
If there is pain or swelling, physical therapy techniques will focus on reducing them first before addressing the other issues.
More often than not, physical therapy techniques always include exercise such as balance training, core exercises, stretching and strength exercises. Physical therapists might also provide patients with a Home Exercise Program to further hasten recovery.
Aside from exercises, physical therapy techniques can also include heat, cold ultrasound, water and electrical stimulation. Physical therapists might also employ manual therapy.
In some medical conditions, physical therapy techniques can be part of a multidisciplinary treatment and care to help patients with disabilities and injury reach optimal function. The team might include doctors, physical therapists, family and the patient, nurses, clinical social worker and psychiatrist. The composition of the team members will depend on the medical condition of the patient but the aim is the same, to restore the physical abilities of physical therapy patients and to improve the quality of their lives.
The application of these physical therapy techniques are varied as each patient is different and may have different responses to therapy. Individuals vary in their patterns of movement, alignments and habits.