October is National Physical Therapy Month. Are you living with an injury or illness that makes it painful to move your body and enjoy life to the fullest? If so, there’s a good chance physical therapy could help you.
Physical therapy is a treatment for people with movement problems caused by a wide range of conditions. It can improve mobility, reduce pain and help maximize a person’s ability to perform daily activities.
“Physical therapy helps reduce pain through movement, hands-on care and patient education,” said Courtney Hulett, P.T., Lake Regional’s Rehab Therapy director. “In many cases, especially those involving back pain, it is a safer choice than either surgery or pain medication. Patients find relief without risking opioid addiction, plus therapy provides the health benefits of increased movement and exercise.”
Physical therapy may help people who have:
- Sports- and work-related injuries.
- Back and neck problems.
- Sprains, strains and other orthopedic-related problems.
- Neurological problems, including certain stroke-related disabilities, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
- Chronic pain.
Physical therapy involves prescribed exercises and special movements of the joints and muscles. It also might involve the use of canes, walkers, crutches or other medical equipment. Hands-on therapy techniques can be a part of physical therapy, which might take place in a hospital, an outpatient clinic or other settings.
A physical therapist can tailor a treatment plan for you. He or she also may consult with doctors, surgeons and other health care team members.
The benefits of physical therapy depend on the patient’s specific problem and goals. For instance, it can help people:
- Manage pain without using opioid medicines.
- Avoid surgery. People with joint problems often try physical therapy first before considering whether to have joint replacement surgery.
- Recover from injury or surgery. Physical therapy is often part of a rehabilitation program prescribed after an injury or surgery, including joint replacement. It helps patients achieve a more complete recovery.
- Recover from stroke. Physical therapy helps many stroke survivors regain lost abilities.
- Avoid future problems, such as decreased mobility, through fitness programs.
Lake Regional provides physical therapy in Camdenton, Eldon, Lake Ozark, Laurie and Osage Beach. To schedule an appointment with a Lake Regional physical therapist, ask your doctor for a referral or call 573.302.2230. Visit lakeregional.com/pt to learn more.
Sources: American Physical Therapy Association; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics