Physical therapy is available for people of all ages – from infant to the elderly. It’s a treatment plan that works with each individual to help you maintain mobility and function, before you lose it, through exercise, wellness advice, stimulation, and manual manipulation—such as stretching.
Physical therapists can, in conjunction with Dr. McDonald, diagnose the probable cause of your movement problems and unexplained soft tissue pain. They can also:
Sports injuries, muscle imbalances, and back pain are just some of the issues addressed with physical therapy.
The treatment you receive depends on your diagnosis. You may receive hot and cold therapy, manual therapy, and electrical stimulation. The therapist may also give you exercises to perform at home. Wear loose clothing so your therapist can move your joints and help you move through exercises.
Manual manipulation includes testing your muscles’ strength and the affected joints’ range of motion. The therapist may stretch or massage areas and move your body in specific patterns to encourage healing.
Electrical stimulation complements other methods of physical therapy. Electrodes that transmit low voltage electrical currents stimulate your sensory nerves to reduce pain and stimulate the healing of injured or scar tissue. Electrical stimulation may be applied while you are passive and resting on an exam table or during specific activity. The type you receive depends on your specific condition.
Heat and ice are common, noninvasive ways to promote healing of soft tissue. The therapist may apply them in advance of having you perform specific exercises at a session or may show you how to use the therapy at home to reduce pain and enhance recovery.
Heat packs encourage greater circulation to injured soft tissue, which delivers necessary nutrients and oxygen while removing cell waste. The therapist may recommend heat packs, heating pads, or moist compresses, among other options.
Cold packs, ice, iced towels, and hydrotherapy offer cold therapy, which reduces inflammation and eases pain. Again, the therapist can let you know when to apply cold therapy to best benefit your particular condition.
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