What exactly does physical therapy do?

Physical therapy can seem like it’s all simple stretches and icing muscles, but this form of health care is practiced by physical therapists who have an expert knowledge of the body. They understand how movement and stress affects the body. They also know that as we move and go about our day, tension can accumulate throughout our body. 

They’re also aware that without proper form when exercising or doing strenuous activities, injuries or pain can become chronic. 

A physical therapist can help you learn how sitting for long periods of time at work can lead to lower back pain or numbness in your legs. Or how lifting heavy objects at work or craning your neck to look at a screen can be tasks that strain certain areas of your body. 

Some primary care doctors may just prescribe pain medication so that pain doesn’t disrupt your day, but others may refer you to a physical therapist. A doctor may do this because they’re aware that physical therapy can help with pain relief, and that it’s also intended to educate you about preventive care and the source of your pain.

What are some common types of physical therapy?

There are many different physical therapy services available, ranging from aquatic therapy from certified instructors to iontophoresis, which is an inflammatory treatment designed to help with certain conditions and injuries. The physical therapy treatment your physical therapist recommends will depend on your needs and condition. Here are a few of the most common types of physical therapy:

  • Sports injury physical therapy — An athlete who may already incorporate stretching and warming up may need a different kind of treatment than someone in a corporate job who does not intensively exercise. You may need soft tissue or joint mobilization therapy, which focuses on joints and muscles that have been stressed. Physical therapists can design an individualized sports injury PT plan that can help you recover and get back to competing. They can also help you improve your strength, flexibility and more, which can help reduce your risk of future injury.

  • Spinal decompression — Chronic pain in the back and/or neck is common, especially as we grow older. Many of the treatment options offered in PT clinics can help address chronic neck or back pain, including spinal decompression. Spinal decompression focuses on opening up the spaces between your vertebrae. This can help reduce tension and pain in your back. This is not just an exclusive treatment for older folks but also for children with scoliosis or and people with poor posture.

  • Manual therapy — Manual therapy techniques, also called hands-on treatment, can help with a range of injuries and conditions. This PT technique category includes methods like soft tissue mobilization.

  • Women’s health PT — Therapy can be specialized for women’s health. Struggle with consistent pelvic pain? Exercises and treatments are available to fit your needs so that you feel stronger in your body. With private and judgment-free physical therapists, you can find the transformation that you have been looking for in your confidence and happiness. Other options are available as well, from postpartum rehab as you navigate life after pregnancy and options for those who are pregnant needing specific care for aches and pains. These treatments are specific to how you may need help staying active, relieving pain, or just being more grounded in yourself. 

Why choose a physical therapist?

Physical therapists are knowledgeable on how muscles, tendons, and tissue work together and can become fatigued or injured. They can provide natural, noninvasive treatment to address a variety of conditions.

Come learn what physical therapy can do for you at Lattimore PT

We use our bodies every day and apply stress to them through activities, exercise, work, events, or even through inactivity. It may seem that chronic pain can be ignored or that medication can treat that recurring ankle swelling, but that is not the case. Injuries and underlying conditions can worsen if their root causes aren’t found and treated. 

Consulting with a physical therapist at Lattimore Physical Therapy can help you become freer and more confident in your everyday life. The range of treatments our certified physical therapists offer can be combined into a personalized and transformative treatment plan. Our therapists take into account your daily life, needs and goals as you go through your health journey. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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