You may think of physical therapy as only being appropriate for individuals who are trying to regain strength in a particular limb following an injury, such as a sprain or a broken bone. However, the benefits of physical therapy actually go far beyond that and can even help older adults who are not currently dealing with active injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Here are just a few things you should know about physical therapy so that you can use it wisely in your preventative health care plan and in your active treatments plan as well.
It Decreases Pain
If you are tempted to pop an over-the-counter pain reliever for your chronic back pain daily, you may be surprised to learn just how much a couple physical therapy sessions every week can help you. The therapist will search for the source of the pain and will use specific exercises and therapies, such as electric stimulation or ultrasound to soften and soothe the area.
It Prevents Future Injuries
Physical therapy is also well-known for being able to prevent sports injuries and could be a good choice if you frequently walk, jog, bike, or swim. Therapists can find weak or imbalanced areas that could throw off your form when exercising.
It Helps You Prevent Surgery
In some cases, regular physical therapy can help you avoid invasive treatments, such as rotator cuff repair or carpal tunnel surgery. Be sure to ask your doctor before starting therapy for these or other medical conditions.
It Improves Your Mobility and Balance
Good mobility, flexibility, and balance are particularly important for older adults who are at higher risk of falls. Physical therapy can help you age gracefully, enjoy your favorite hobbies, and continue to travel as much as you would like.
It Improves Strength
Physical therapy can also help you gain strength throughout your body. While it is particularly good as a rehabilitation tool following surgery on the legs or arms, therapy can also help you build your core strength, which can give you better posture as you age and decrease any lower back pain you may have.