Physical Therapy: An Overview
Physical therapy treatments may target specific muscles to stimulate muscle contractions and facilitate movement. This may be achieved with vibration, temperature, and transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS). You will learn how to exercise the affected part of your body to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and keep the muscles and tissues healthy to prevent possible complications. Your therapist can recommend the right amount and type of exercises to challenge you, while at the same time, helping you safely build up to your maximal level of physical activity.
If your limitations are permanent or severe, you may be able to learn compensation techniques including the use of assistive devices. For example, you may need to re-learn how to walk or learn how to walk in a different way, such as with a cane, walker, or leg bracing. You may learn how to instruct caregivers to help move your body safely and efficiently. If you need a wheelchair, a physical therapist can help you select the most appropriate one for you and teach you how to use it. Additionally, as your condition changes, your program will be adjusted to meet your new goals. Eventually, you may advance to a home exercise program or participate in an “open gym.” Regular exercise is important to improve and maintain your posture, balance, stamina, and strength. Additionally, regular exercise is important for your overall health and helps reduce stress.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.