FAQ’s on Physical Therapy (PT)
Most symptoms of acute back pain fade within one month with full recovery with 2 months, and according to recent studies 66% of patients are recovered in 7 weeks. Research has shown that up to 75% of patients have a recurrence of lumbar pain within the year, with 50% of patients showing recurrence within 4 years. 100 million Americans live with daily chronic pain according to the Institute of Medicine.
This suggests that proper aftercare or adequate preventative measures were not taken after an injury. This is where physical therapy can help.
What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is the use of treatment to improve or return a patient to the daily living and work skills they had before an injury or condition caused a decline in function or mobility, or an increase in pain with the performance of daily activities, particularly those of meaning to the patient.
This is accomplished through the interaction of therapist(s) and patient, the patient’s doctor, and any other health care providers. The physical therapists(s) will set movement goals and develop a plan to assess the patient’s progress to that goal using the patient’s history and current diagnosis (including tests, imaging, labs, symptoms, etc.).
When does a doctor recommend Physical Therapy?
PT is a non-invasive treatment that has the capability to restore or improve full function to the body’s joints and muscles. There are many conditions where physical therapy has been an effective means of treatment with successful outcomes for the patient. PT uses targeted movements with a focus on building and strengthening muscle and endurance.
Many conditions can benefit from PT. They include:
- Post-Surgical rehabilitation
- Inflammation of the joints
- Degenerative disc and joint disease
- Lumbar pain
- Sports injuries
- Injury or tears in the muscle, tendons, or ligaments
- Myofascial pain
The goal of physical therapy is to reduce pain through controlled movement while promoting healing in the patient.
What types of Physical therapy are there?
- Physical therapy has many specialty applications. Our team has board certified specialists in many areas, with the 5 most common specialty areas of physical therapy being:
- Orthopedic Physical therapy : Patients who have had an injury, disease, or condition of the musculoskeletal system (this includes ligaments , muscles, bones, or tendons), or those recovering from orthopedic surgery can benefit from orthopedic specialists. This is the most common sector of out-patient treatments, which include: joint mobilization, strengthening, temperature therapy, electrical stimulation, sports injuries, post-operative patients and arthritic patients.
- Neurological Physical Therapy : Patients include individuals with neurological symptoms from disease (difficulty in mobility, impaired vision, partial or full paralysis, balance issues, loss of independence), such as those suffering from ALS, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s, or multiple sclerosis.
- Geriatric Physical Therapy : Patients with age related symptoms can benefit from geriatric physical therapy to restore mobility, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve overall fitness as a preventative therapy.
- Pediatric Physical therapy : Pediatric Specialists diagnose, treat, and manage patients with developmental and early years health problems (injury, disorder, or disease) of the bones, muscles, and joints.
- Cardiovascular/Pulmonary : With a focus on strengthening, functional independence and an increase in the patient’s endurance; cardio and pulmonary rehabilitation specialists help a patient that is post-surgery or living with a cardiopulmonary disorder.
This is the most common and most difficult question asked by patients. The answer can depend on many factors, including the severity of the patient’s symptoms, impairments, limitations, and the patient’s response to treatment.
Our nationally board certified team helps achieve a successful outcome from a physical rehabilitation program by setting up goals and a method to achieve them based on what’s attainable for each patient. Our team of specialists will work with a patient to establish and devise clear and beneficial goals for each patient on the road to a full recovery.