How Physical Therapy Helps Your Family Stay Healthy
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Physical therapy isn’t just treatment after surgery or after an injury. One small pain can actually lead to serious issues over time. To rebuild your strength, working with a physical therapist can get your body back in shape by repairing bad habits and rebuilding your form.
Physical therapy can be useful for all family members. Even children can benefit from physical therapy and build healthy habits to carry them throughout their lifetime.
The Four Stages
The four stages of physical therapy fix, train, strengthen and progress. Physical therapists may not be included in each stage; for example, if you need surgery for a torn ligament or a bad break, you need a surgeon for the Fix part of your care.
Your PT professionals can help when you start to Train at that surgical site. Training can hurt; scar tissue can quickly get tight and stretching that back out can take a lot of work. Many physical therapists have a high tolerance for unpleasant language and are ready to help you push through.
Once you’ve got the joint limbered up, your physical therapist can help you to Strengthen the injury site. Depending on the original injury and your repair experience, the muscle weakness at the injury site could be extensive.
Finally, your PT team can check your Progress. If you need a knee replacement, you may end up spending a lot of time on a recumbent bike. You can do that on your own until you’re ready to move to the treadmill. Going back to physical therapy before you get on the treadmill will keep you much safer.
Physical Therapy for Family Members of All Ages
Children in America today often have over-eating disorders and live a sedimentary lifestyle. Enrolling a child in a physical therapy program can help avoid early back pain and increase their stamina. Pain and the history of remembered pain can change a person’s movements in subtle and radical ways. An adult who has injured their back may shy away from back exercises, which can actually increase the risk of injury.
With the help of a skilled therapist, you can gently get back into the habit of healthy movement. The best physical therapy clinics in Ogden or other cities near your family help connect you to professionals who can assist with a variety of complications in all age groups. If your kids are heavily involved with sports, gymnastics, or other heavy athletic activities, physical therapy can ensure they are building and strengthening the core muscles that are needed to perform a variety of tasks.
Form The Basis of Health
Your first appointment with a physical therapist may include a careful assessment of the underlying problem. For example, you may have a knee that hurts when it rains. This will impact your gait, which can tighten your hips.
Tight hips can pull on the low back, limiting your mobility even further. You may sit on a heating pad in the hope of reducing muscle stiffness and end up causing even more inflammation. Your physical therapist can help trace back the current pain to the source of the problem so you can find ways to loosen up the knee. Simple range of motion exercises, taught to you in therapy, can help you move forward in good health.
How Therapy Trains Your Body to Move in Balance
When we have small, nagging pains, we naturally move in ways to alleviate them. These initial habits make sense to the body part but are generally not good for the body overall. Your physical therapist may have you start with very small weights or work slowly on a treadmill or a bike to rebuild those small movements until it’s a habit for your body.
It’s amazing what the body can accomplish while under the stress of poor form. You can build strength in your legs even if you put less weight on one knee. You can learn to do an overhead press even if your shoulder position is incorrect. However, over time, the joints and connective tissues will let you know that something is off. Learning the habit of good form with a skilled physical therapist can reduce a lot of the undoing that poor form requires.
In the final stages of physical therapy, you can move forward on your own. Once your initial injury has been addressed and your habitual movements are in proper alignment, you can probably reduce the number of visits to your therapist. When you’re ready to go up a step in your fitness goals, talk to your doctor and get an appointment with a therapist to help you add weight or time to your and your family’s exercise plan in confidence and safety.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.