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What Type of Treatments Do I Receive in Physical Therapy

Posted Jun 28 2012 7:16am

The treatments that a patient receives in a physical therapy program cover a whole range of active and passive therapies to increase muscle and joint flexibility and improve range of motion. Patients suffering from chronic pain can get great relief from well-planned therapeutic exercises as well as various passive modalities such as massage, TENS, ultrasound intervention, and more.

Physical Therapy Rehabilitation – Brief Overview

Chronic pain can be debilitating and crippling. Your best option is to approach a well-known physical therapy rehabilitation center for specialized treatment. The therapies recommended would include a combination of the following:

• Therapeutic exercises: These are designed to stretch and strengthen muscles. Other important physical therapy exercises focus on balance, joint control, and muscle re-training.

• Myofascial release massage: This is hands-on treatment combining light stretching and massage. It relieves pain enhances the flexibility of the stretched muscles. Pressure is applied at specific points to release the tension from the fibrous bands of the muscles, bones, nerves and joints. This therapy can relieve muscle and joint soreness and improve body posture.

• TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: This is a non-invasive, passive treatment that involves the passing of electrical current to specific nerves. The physical therapist places electrode patches on the skin in the treatment area and a mild current is passed from the stimulator through these patches. This gentle stimulation using electrical current stimulates the body’s endorphins or natural pain killers to ease pain and stiffness and improve mobility.

• Heat and Ice treatment: While heat increases blood supply to the affected area and reduces joint stiffness and muscle spasm, the application of ice packs reduce swelling, inflammation and pain. The physical therapist uses either of these therapies depending on the condition to be treated.

• Ultrasound: A sound wave that has a frequency greater than 20 KHz, ultraound is used to treat soft tissue injuries. The heating of the tissues improves the extensibility of soft tissue and improves blood flow to the affected area. This results in the reduction of swelling and pain.

• Traction: Traction involves applying a force to draw two adjacent bones apart to increase their shared joint space. For instance, cervical traction is applied to ease neck pain. Traction gently stretches the neck to open the spaces between the cervical vertebrae. This reduces the pressure on the affected discs and reduces the pain.

• Rehabilitation: You are made to use different types of rehab devices and equipment such as an elliptical trainer, treadmill, stair stepper, walker bars, rocker and wobble boards, and so on. This helps in the regeneration of damaged tissue.

• Injury prevention education:Physical therapy services also include educative programs by physical therapists and chiropractors on preventing further injury and strain to the affected muscle or joint.

Established Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center for Treatment

The type and quality of treatments you receive for physical therapy depends greatly on the health care center that you choose. Locate a multi-specialty rehabilitation center with an experienced team of physical therapists as well as specialists in fields such as neurology, pain management, orthopedics, chiropractic care, and spinal decompression. This would ensure a holistic approach to your treatment and a better resolution of your health issues.

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