Who Needs Physical Therapy?
The fact of the matter is that everyone—regardless of age or ability—can benefit from physical therapy. Individuals who follow their physical therapist’s recommendations can reap many rewards, including improved mobility, fitness, posture, balance and reduced aches and pain. But does everyone need physical therapy? No. But there are definitely nine groups of people who should seek out physical therapy.
The 9 Types of People Who Need Physical Therapy
Based on our experience and expertise, there are nine groups of people who may benefit from physical therapy:
- Athletes: How physical therapy helps athletes depends on the sport. Even still, a physical therapist trained in sports medicine can assist any athlete in creating a therapy routine that minimizes risk of injury and can apply proper sports therapy techniques in the event an injury does occur. Working with a sports physical therapist will keep you at the top of your game and help you get back in the game faster when rehabilitation is necessary.
- Children with developmental challenges: Pediatric physical therapists work with children of all ages and abilities. Specifically, physical therapists can teach children how to crawl, use mobility devices and actively participate in sports. If your child suffers from a developmental delay, a congenital disability or injury-related mobility issues, consider working with a pediatric physical therapist.
- Middle-aged individuals and retirees: The aging body brings with it increased joint and muscle pain, body fat, muscle atrophy and much more. In short, aging is often not friendly on the body. As you age, it is a smart idea to use physical therapy as a tool to maintain independence. With physical therapy, you can remain nimble, stay on top of daily tasks and recover faster from illnesses, among many other benefits.
- People with chronic diseases: If you suffer from a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or cancer, we encourage you to view physical therapy as life-changing treatment. Physical therapy for chronic diseases can help patients experience improved quality of life while having a trained therapist who can keep watch on and manage disease-related risk factors.
- People with chronic pain: From arthritis and low back pain to injury-related pain, an experienced physical therapist can apply personalized therapeutic techniques that will help you manage your chronic pain. The emphasis here is often improving flexibility and posture, creating a strength routine and implementing daily pain-relief exercises to help you control and limit suffering.
- People with balance issues: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specific type of physical therapy for individuals who suffer from vestibular problems (e.g., dizziness, vertigo and imbalance). With VRT, you will receive an individualized therapy program that improves balance while building strength and mobility.
- Surgical candidates: Why get physical therapy before surgery? The answer is twofold. First, physical therapy may eliminate need for surgery. If not, it may help optimize your health going into surgery, which may help lessen recovery time.
- Post-surgery patients: Physical therapy after surgery may be critical to managing pain and regaining motion and strength. Physical therapy can also help you avoid injury during recovery, which is often a time when re-injury or injury to the surgical area occurs. If you are looking at having surgery soon or have just had surgery, speak to your doctor about post-op physical therapy and how it may help you maximize your recovery.
- Stroke survivors: Physical therapy for patients who have suffered a stroke should begin as soon as possible after it occurs. Stroke physical therapy includes all levels of rehabilitation and may involve any or all of the following: nerve stimulus, retraining muscles, building strength, improving mobility, encouraging stretching and increasing elasticity. This targeted therapy ensures stroke survivors recover as well as they can and live lives of quality.
Physical Therapy Only Works if You Do, Too
If you fit within one of these groups, we are confident that you will benefit from physical therapy. The greatest benefits come to those who attend all of their sessions, follow their therapist’s instructions during therapy—both at home and in the clinic—and keep up with their therapy routines after the appointments end. Your health is never a one-and-done consideration; consistent follow-through ensures best results.
Curious to Know If You’re a Great Candidate for Physical Therapy? Call Us Today!
Do you fit within any of the nine groups above? Are you considering physical therapy and how it can specifically benefit you and your unique situation? We encourage you to call your primary care provider to discuss physical therapy’s benefits and to determine if you are a candidate. If you do not have a primary care provider, we welcome you to call our experienced therapy team at c.h. Physical Therapy directly at 503-601-9000 to discuss your current health needs.