When it comes to finding treatment for your injury, the last thing you want on your list is surgery. While surgery may be the only solution for some cases of severe trauma, a conservative method, such as physical therapy (PT) should be your first choice if possible. However, even if you do need to undergo surgery, physical therapy can help improve strength and mobility, which ensures a better postoperative outcome.
How can physical therapy help you avoid surgery?
Physical therapy not only helps relieve symptoms but can also help eliminate the need for surgery. Everyone can benefit from some movement progression and exercise, which is why physical therapy can help almost all patients. Physical therapists use a combination of skills and equipment to manage pain, stretch muscle tendons, reduce inflammation and improve mobility over time.
Prescription medications, such as opioids, only mask the sensation of pain but don’t work to treat it. With physical therapy, therapists can help you treat your pain through movement, hands-on care, exercise and patient education.
Physical therapists can create an individualized treatment plan that focuses on your specific needs and goals. One study investigated the effects of physical therapy modalities on pain and functional status in patients with non-specific low back pain and found that low back pain had significantly improved after treatment.
Stretch muscle tendons
Stretching isn’t just performed by athletes. In fact, everyone should incorporate stretching into their daily routine in order to protect mobility and independence. According to Harvard Health, “stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints.”
Physical therapy incorporates stretching exercises that can help improve posture, improve range of motion and prevent loss of range of motion, decrease back pain, help prevent injury and decrease muscle soreness.
Inflammatory disorders may cause abnormal inflammation, which results in chronic pain, redness, swelling, stiffness and damage to normal tissues. If inflammation is directly causing your pain, physical therapy can help reduce any inflammation causing you discomfort. Some techniques physical therapists use to reduce inflammation include:
- Manual therapy: Practitioners use their hands to apply pressure on muscle tissues and manipulate joints.
- Dry needling: This technique uses a “dry” needle, a needle without medication or injection, and inserts it through the skin into areas of the muscle.
- Ultrasound treatments: Therapeutic ultrasound treatments can provide deep heating to soft tissue to increase blood circulation to those tissues.
Mobility improves range of motion and is a contributing factor to reducing the risk of injuries. If you have lost your range of motion due to a medical condition, physical therapy may help you get back to having an optimal range of motion without the need for surgery.
Schedule an appointment
Physical therapy is an important part of providing you a complete solution to helping you recover from an injury or illness while avoiding surgery at all costs. Contact Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of NY & CT for information on our PT services or to make an appointment now.