7 Best Physical Therapy Methods Explained

When a person’s mobility is limited due to an injury – be it strained muscles, broken bones, or slipped discs – physical therapy is usually the primary care option to address this difficulty.  Physical therapy can help restore a patient’s normal movements and alleviate the pain one is experiencing to allow him/her to perform once again the daily functional activities of life. One can seek professional physical therapy services for proper assessment and diagnosis. Depending on the extent of the injury, different physiotherapy methods can be utilized to achieve faster recovery, prevent recurring injuries and improve one’s physical performance. Below are the most common methods for physical rehabilitation:

  • Manual therapy is considered to be the foundation of physical therapy. This conventional method is used for any injury, corrects movement restrictions and reduces or stops persistent aches and pains through stretching, massage, and exercises that strengthen affected areas in the body. To see videos of exercises for manual therapy, click the link:

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  • Patients with herniated discs can opt to do traction. It relieves the pressure on the spine by separating the vertebrae and thereby giving enough space for the nerves and less compression on the disc cartilage.
  • Cold therapy or ice application is commonly used for injuries due to inflammation. Inflamed areas, like sprained ankle or wrist, are usually treated immediately with cold packs to prevent further inflammation as indicated by swelling and to soothe the pain. Inflammation is lessened by the reduced blood flow caused by constricted blood vessels as the cold temperature is applied in the injured area. This eases the joints and makes it more mobile for better manual therapy.
    Reusable Cold Therapy

    Image from Cold therapy:
  • On the other hand, heat therapy through hot compress is the best method for muscular spasms and stiffness. Heat relaxes the muscles, allowing it to be flexible again. In combination with stretching, the muscles are loosened, allowing proper movement in the affected area with less discomfort. Use the link to know more on cold and hot therapy:
  • For connective tissue injuries, ultrasound or low-level laser therapies are recommended. Ultrasound makes use of sound waves that are beyond the range of human hearing while laser therapy applies low wavelength of light. Both these therapies produce heat in the targeted areas deep in the body to relax the tissues or reduce inflammation and pain. This allows ease of movement prior to manual therapy and eventually stimulate healing.
  • Electric stimulation is best for restoring muscular strength and function following a traumatic injury. This is done by introducing electric stimulus that induces muscle contractions and prevents them from becoming dormant after impairment.  Proper movement and function can be attained faster by using this treatment rather than relying solely on exercise, especially for hemiplegic patients, those who underwent total knee replacement surgery, and other severe injuries like torn ligaments.  Know more information:
  • Lastly, regular exercise is the best physical therapy to strengthen targeted muscles, avoid body aches and pains, as well as muscular imbalance than can lead to injuries.

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