Physical Therapy Q & A
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy is a treatment method of injuries, pain, or other discomforts that may be impairing your everyday life. The overall goal of physical therapy is to return your body to a full state of functioning with no pain through physical methods and exercise.
What do Physical Therapists do?
Physical therapists work hands on with patients to assess symptoms and conditions, treat and prevent pain or injuries, and enhance your quality of life through a full range of painless motion. They work to restore your body’s health and wellness without using pain medication or invasive procedures.
How does Physical Therapy help my body?
Physical therapy cannot only treat already existing injuries, but it can help to prevent future injuries and pain as well. There are also many ways your body can benefit from physical therapy that are not as commonly known. Some of these benefits include managing diabetes and vascular conditions, women's health concerns, heart and lung disease, and recovering from a stroke.
What will my first physical therapy visit entail?
At Total Health we listen to your unique situation and work with you to create a plan that will help you reach your personal health and fitness goals. Every injury is different, therefore our physical therapists thoroughly examine both the area of pain and your overall lifestyle to help you reach your full potential. Depending on the injury, you can receive treatment including any or all of the following:
- Manual therapy techniques
- Electrical stimulation
- Laser treatment
- Hot/Cold packs
Our physical therapists will make sure you are receiving optimal treatment during your session. However, to see the best results, you can also expect to learn exercises to do on your own at home.
Will I be educated on how physical therapy will help my body?
A large part of physical therapy is patient education. The physical therapists will educate you on the plan of care to help address your symptoms and cause of the problem. In addition, they will suggest modifications to your daily life that will help the recovery process. The goal of physical therapy is to bring you back to normal health and keep you there, so patient education is important in understanding how to avoid repeated injuries.
How will physical exercise and strengthening benefit me?
At the basics, we are addressing muscle strength or length deficits that are contributing to your pain. These exercises will also address the joint mechanics and joint health underneath the musculature. Properly performed exercises will also increase your body’s position sense and help you become more aware of your form and posture in daily life.
What are the goals of my physical therapist?
Physical therapists are there to guide you through your recovery journey. They will not only teach you to resolve any current pain or injury, but also teach you how to prevent future pain and injury. The goal of your physical therapist is to have you moving independently pain-free in either everyday life or the activities you wish to participate in. It is their job to help you reach a full recovery so you can meet your personal goals.
How long will I need to attend physical therapy?
Physical therapy will typically take around 3 months of consistent treatment to reach a full recovery. This is with 2 to 3 sessions per week. However, it can vary depending on the patient and injury.
Does physical therapy take longer to work if my symptoms have been around for a while?
If your symptoms were present for months or years prior, it will take a longer time to resolve them because of the change in tissue structure. Tissues that went through a trauma such as muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone will take 4-12 weeks to heal depending on which tissue it is. Chronically injured tissue or chronic pain is more complex in its physiology and will usually take months to years to improve.
Can physical therapy determine why my injury has occurred?
During and after the tissue is healed, we must address why the injury occurred in the first place whether it be postural, poor lifting mechanics, or poor motor control, etc. This can help specialize treatment to get the best results.
When will I start feeling the effects of physical therapy?
This can vary depending on the patient and severity of the injury. Generally, most of our patients’ strength will improve in at least 8 weeks of consistent physical therapy sessions. This does not include nerve injuries which take much longer.
Is physical therapy covered by insurance?
Physical therapy is covered by most insurances. It is not just a popular choice due to its efficacy, but also a necessary process for many recovery and rehabilitation programs. For this reason, it is recognized as a successful treatment method by most insurance companies.
Is physical therapy painful?
The purpose of physical therapy is to alleviate any pain that you are experiencing. However, as most physical exercise can make targeted muscles sore, physical therapy is no exception. It is important to understand the difference between temporary soreness and pain, as soreness is only a sign of strengthening. On the other hand, physical therapy should never cause a patient more pain.