Physical therapy can seem like a hefty investment, so it’s natural to want to be sure it’s worth your time.
You want to know exactly how it can benefit you.
Aches and pains, chronic conditions, and recovery are all things that physical therapy is designed for.
We will go over why physical therapy is important and how it can increase your health and quality of life.
Table of Contents
- What is the Goal of Physical Therapy?
- 7 Answers to the Question ‘Why Is Physical Therapy Important?’
- #1: Physical Therapy Gives Patients the Opportunity to Learn About How the Body Works
- #2: Physical Therapy Helps to Improve Strength and Mobility
- #3: Physical Therapy Can Reduce or Eliminate Pain
- #4: Physical Therapy Can Prevent Scar Tissue Build-Up
- #5: Physical Therapy Can Help to Avoid Surgery
- #6: Physical Therapy Can Help to Improve Post-Surgery Outcomes
- #7: Physical Therapy Can Help Manage Other Issues
- Why Do Physical Therapy After an Injury?
- Voted #1 in America -Trust In Motion O.C. With Your Healing and Rehabilitation
What Is the Goal of Physical Therapy?
An individualized physical therapy (PT) treatment plan is designed with your goals in mind.
Physical therapy’s primary goal is to restore functional movement and a return to normal activity.
But how will physical therapy help you? Here are some goals that physical therapy may include:
- Increase range of motion
- Improved function
- Reducing pain
- Proper alignment
- Post-surgery Rehabilitation
- And more
Keep reading to learn specific ways physical therapy is important for our bodies and overall well-being.
7 Answers to the Question ‘Why Is Physical Therapy Important?’
Perhaps you’re wondering, “Why is PT important?” Is it really worth it?
The importance of physical therapy depends on your needs and goals.
A PT program is entirely customized to your needs and your body.
#1: Physical Therapy Gives Patients the Opportunity to Learn About How the Body Works
Physical therapy is more than rehabilitation, it’s an education in how your body works.
There are some things we believe to be intuitive.
For example: Picking up something off the ground. You just need to bend over and pick it up, right? In theory, yes.
The act of picking something up off the ground involves an incredible amount of movements in your body that you might not realize you’re using. Bend over to pick something up in an unhealthy way, and you may end up with a strained back or a slipped disc.
Physical therapists are trained on the intricate movements of the body. They want to help you move properly to avoid injuries and strains.
#2: Physical Therapy Helps to Improve Strength and Mobility
No matter your age, physical therapy can help with strengthening your body and restoring your ability to move.
If you’re having trouble…
- Standing; or
- Completing your daily activities
… physical therapy can help.
#3: Physical Therapy Can Reduce or Eliminate Pain
Manual techniques such as massage and mobilization can help ease the pain in your joints and muscles.
Passive techniques are often used to help relieve pain during or after treatment, including:
- Ice or heat packs
- Electrical muscle stimulation
Some of the most important ways to help prevent and reduce pain are active techniques and exercise therapy.
A study in the Osteoarthritis and Cartilage journal studied physically active and inactive patients with knee osteoarthritis, and found that exercise regimens supervised by physical therapists helped reduce pain for both populations.
In short, no matter how active you are, when you have an expert guiding your exercise regimen, you can often gain more than going it alone.
#4: Physical Therapy Can Prevent Scar Tissue Build-Up
A 2020 meta-analysis in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that physical therapy helped reduce these common effects from scarring:
- Scar pliability
- Scar surface area
- Scar thickness
#5: Physical Therapy Can Help to Avoid Surgery
Surgery can be scary — But it’s not always your only choice.
Specialized techniques performed by a licensed physical therapist can help prevent invasive procedures.
In many cases, PT can help heal injured tissues without the need for stitches. With increased joint function and mobility, many elective surgeries may be avoided.
In fact, sometimes defense can be the best offense. By focusing on prevention, you may avoid getting to the point where surgery is needed.
For example, poor balance is a leading cause of injury. By strengthening your muscles and improving your range and quality of movement, many injuries can be prevented.
When you strengthen surrounding musculature, this can also help reduce strain on your joints.
#6: Physical Therapy Can Improve Post-Surgery Outcomes
Unfortunately, sometimes surgery is unavoidable.
Physical therapy can help increase blood flow which helps your vital organs (heart, lungs, muscles), which can help speed up healing.
Physical therapy can also boost your mental health. Making gains, however small, towards your goals can give you a boost in confidence and mental well-being.
#7: Physical Therapy Can Help Manage Other Issues
Qualified physical therapists are experts on many conditions.
In addition to common reasons for seeking physical therapy such as injury recovery and post-op care, physical therapists can also help you improve more specialized conditions.
Diabetes and Vascular Conditions
As part of a diabetes management plan, the exercise involved can help control blood sugar levels.
Some people with diabetes may have problems with feeling and sensation in their feet and legs.
A physical therapist can help educate these patients on proper care to prevent further problems.
As you age, some conditions are more likely to manifest, including:
- Weak joints
Physical therapists are experts in helping patients manage these conditions.
Remember those patients with knee osteoarthritis? Through guided exercises and education about how their bodies move, these patients’ pain levels were reduced throughout their treatment.
Heart and Lung Disease
Cardiac rehabilitation is an individually designed exercise and education program for people with heart issues.
PT can help improve pulmonary issues through…
- Conditioning; and
These exercises can help:
- Improve muscle endurance and strength,
- Decrease shortness of breath
- Increase your ability to carry out daily activities.
Why Do Physical Therapy After an Injury?
If you want to return stronger after an injury, PT can help get you there.
After an injury, the body swells which leads to:
- Pain; and
- Decreased muscle activation.
These processes are natural and signal the body is trying to heal, and PT can help speed up this process.
The physical therapist will help you:
- Restore range of motion
- Reactivate weak muscles
- Decrease normal inflammatory processes
- Build endurance in the tissues and muscles
One important reason to do PT after an injury is so you can prevent yourself from getting the same injury again.
By creating a recovery plan, and by gaining knowledge on how to move with a decreased risk of injury, you’ll be able to return to your normal activities with confidence.
Voted #1 in America — Trust In Motion O.C. With Your Healing and Rehabilitation
Here at In Motion O.C., we’re committed to bringing hope, healing, joy, and confidence to others.
Our physical therapists are experts in the human body and movement.
We love what we do. We’re passionate about what we do, and we have fun doing it.
Let us show you how much we care about you and your goals by helping you relieve your pain, new or chronic, and help you stay that way.