What is Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are specialists who treat musculoskeletal problems. The goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain and restore function. This may be applicable before surgery or may be used after surgery. Physical therapists and their assistants work closely with patients to tailor a program for their specific condition and needs. Often, physical therapy is used in conjunction with medications and/or chiropractic care.
Conditions Treated with Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is used to treat almost all back and neck pain problems including herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, stenosis, disc degeneration, facet and sacroiliac joint pain, whiplash, radicular pain and other problems. Most patients will be prescribed physical therapy after surgery to help strengthen muscles and accelerate recovery.
What Does Physical Therapy Involve?
- During the first visit with the therapist, an evaluation will be performed.
- Areas needing treatment will be identified and a treatment plan created.
Almost all physical therapy programs include stretching, strengthening exercises and education about the treatments undertaken and body mechanics (how to move your body to avoid future injury).
- Other treatments such as hot and cold packs, electrical stimulation, massage, manipulation and other modalities are often used as well.
- The number of physical therapy treatments will vary with the type and severity of the problem being treated.
- Generally, you will be given a home program to exercise during and after discharge from your physical therapy care.