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The Importance of Physical Therapy

Jan 2, 2008
Physical therapy is an exercise treatment methodology aimed at the treatment and curing of certain physical ailments, through exercise and stretching. While at the same time preventing the chances of any re-occurrences further on down the road. Its primary aim is to bring back the patient to his/her normal self, free from pain or suffering, so that he/she can then lead a normal life; performing all of their daily activities with minimal or no difficulty. Physical therapy deals with cardiopulmonary and neurological conditions as well.

Physical therapy is generally required for those with permanent disabilities, those who have had a major injury or accident and are in a recuperation phase, or for those who are suffering from crippling diseases such as arthritis, lower back pain, or cerebral palsy. In certain instances, some diseases or medical conditions impair the patient so much that it becomes necessary to teach them how to function within the limitations of their condition, by building upon the residual capabilities left.

With prolonged treatment under the supervision of an expert physiatrist, it is possible for the patient to regain a major share of the mobility of his/her joints, achieve flexibility, and acquire better balance and coordination. Apart from this, physical therapy also helps in significantly improving the overall fitness and health of the patient.

Children with issues such as developmental delays or muscle and joint weaknesses that happen early in life can also benefit from physical therapy. In such cases, a physiatrist usually depends upon a variety of techniques such as strength training, balance and coordination exercises, stretching exercises, ultrasound therapies, and electrical stimulation of the affected body parts along with massage to help the child build better physical strength. However the exact methods to be used are decided by the physiatrist after diagnosing the child.

For it to be effective, it is important that the patient also respond positively to the treatment, and for that to happen he/she needs to be in a positive frame of mind and not in a saddened mindset. Therefore physical therapy also includes efforts to motivate the patient to make sure that he/she remains in a positive mindset during the session.

In order to receive the full benefits of physical therapy, it is important that the patient follow the instructions of the physiatrist. In many cases, after a few sessions, people think that they know the exercises well enough and can do the rehabilitation quite effectively without any external help. However, such acts generally cause more damage to the existing injury than providing any real benefits.

An injury needs time to heal itself and physical therapy allows this to happen. Equally important are the conditions this is achieved under, and a patient needs to undergo treatment within the most perfect way possible. A physiatrist who monitors the progress can correct a problem if there is an error in the posturing or practice, and he/she periodically redesigns the exercise program accordingly as the patient gets better or improves in health and strength.

None of this would be possible if the patient tries to manage the rehabilitation program him/herself. Remember, the final result or complete recovery through physical therapy is a combination of diligence, compliance, and dedication, and that requires continued interaction and coordination between the patient and the physiatrist.

Physical therapy is hugely effective in treating injured joints, bones, muscle weaknesses, and many neurological ailments, but it must be done in the proper way, under the supervision of an able physiatrist or else, it will not produce the desired results.
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