When you hear the words “physical therapy”, visions of serious injuries probably pop into your head. You might envision someone who temporarily lost the use of their legs. Over a long period of time, they struggle to just take one step on their own. Through targeted massage, exercises, and therapy sessions led by trained physical therapists, they begin to be able to walk on their own again. Or maybe you envision someone who was born without full function in part of their body and visits a physical therapist to help develop their muscles. Whatever you envision, it’s probably involves a serious injury. However, there are other ways physical therapy can change your life for the better.
Physical Therapy Alleviates Stiff Joints and Tight Muscles
Even if you haven’t been injured, physical therapy can help you. As you get older, you’ll experience more and more stiffness and tightness in your muscles. Physical therapists are trained to identify where you’re experiencing that stiffness and tightness. Then, they’re trained to loosen your muscles up. What’s more important is their ability to prescribe exercises for you to do at home. These exercises will include stretching – if you are like most people on the planet, you probably don’t know how to do proper daily stretching, if you do any at all. Physical therapists will be able to explain in detail why it’s important, how it helps, and what stretches you should do daily.
Here’s a little sneak peek of something you might hear in a physical therapy session. By alleviating tightness and stiffness in your muscles and joints, you’re reducing the risk of becoming injured in the future. When muscles are tight or stiff, you might move in awkward ways or overcompensate with other muscles. Both can lead to injuries. Also, you might have muscles in your body you don’t even use. Yes, that’s right. In a physical therapy session, your therapist can identify muscles that are rarely, if ever, activated – due to lack of use. This is more common than you think. And when those muscles aren’t doing their job, other muscles step in when they shouldn’t, potentially leading to injury. Your therapist can also recommend exercises to activate those muscles at home.
After an Injury
If you do experience an injury that has caused you to lose some muscles function, physical therapy is a key part to your recovery. Physical therapists are trained to teach your muscles to do their jobs again. And, as in the other cases, they can give you exercises that will help you strengthen those muscles when not in a session as well.
Those are three of the major ways that physical therapy can change your life. If you’re already experiencing stiffness or suffering from an injury, physical therapy can get you back on track. If you’re not, physical therapy can keep you on track. So don’t wait another day. Schedule an appointment.