What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?

Updated on December 11, 2021

Many people believe physical therapy is only for people recovering from surgery or a severe injury. However, anybody experiencing chronic pain or a pestering injury can benefit from seeing a physical therapist. Additionally, after completing your physical therapy program, you should consider continuing to see a physical therapist annually. 

These professionals maximize the quality of life and movement through treatment, habilitation, and rehabilitation. So, even if you feel like you have fully recovered from your injuries, total physical therapy can ensure you maximize your recovery and stay on the right path. If you see a physical therapist annually, they will be able to give you a take-home program to ensure you maintain your progress and prevent injuries down the road. 

Continue reading to learn more about the specific benefits of physical therapy.  

What Happens at a Physical Therapy Exam?

Physical therapists examine the patient’s medical history and explore the roots of your symptoms. Based on their findings, the therapist devises a thorough treatment plan and discusses how to accomplish relief and recovery with the proposed method. 

Physical therapists also provide moral support and a resource for you to consult you throughout your treatment process. This educational component is an integral portion of the recovery. Additionally, therapists also let you know when a physician should evaluate you for further medical advice. They can eliminate potentially more severe injuries and decide what adaptive equipment you might need. 

How Do You Know if Physical Therapy Is Working?

Physical therapists should clearly define goals at the beginning of their treatment. Doing so can help guide you throughout your treatment to let you know whether you’re achieving success. At your follow-up appointments, your therapist will go over your progress using data and measurements defined at the beginning of your treatment.

Your therapist will also be able to pivot depending on what works in your program vs. what doesn’t. As you progress, you should be able to notice distinctions between when you began. If you suffered a sports injury, you should notice reduced pain and increased Range of motion (ROM). If you see a physical therapist for headaches, you should notice reduced symptoms throughout your therapeutic journey. 

If it correlates with your condition, you may also receive therapy from various modalities such as heat/ice, electric stimulation, cold laser, ultrasound, biofeedback, MPS (DC microcurrent with Dolphin Stim Unit). You should notice the effects of these various modalities as you progress throughout your routine, as well, relying on them less heavily as you improve. 

Some of the indicators that therapy is working include: 

  • Decreased pain
  • Reduced symptoms 
  • Increased muscle length 
  • Improved motion and function 
  • Changes in outcome scores
  • Improved strength and endurance

What Is the Purpose of Physical Therapy?

Personalized physical therapy approaches help you regain your previous level of functionality and your lifestyle. They encourage lifestyle changes and help you avoid further injury while promoting overall health and wellness.  

What Makes a Physical Therapist Different?

Licensed physical therapists have doctorates and receive an average of seven years of education, working in the following areas: 

  • Biology 
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Cellular histology
  • Exercise physiology 
  • Biomechanics
  • Neuroscience
  • Kinesiology
  • Pharmacology 
  • Pathology
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary
  • Endocrine and metabolic
  • Nutrition
  • Imaging 
  • Musculoskeletal science 

Licensed physical therapists undergo multiple clinical assessments and licensing exams after completing their college courses to sharpen their skills. They learn more about specific conditions and utilize evidence-based practices to stay up-to-date on the latest research in health care. 

Why Should I Have Yearly Physical Therapy Exams?

You don’t have to sustain severe injury or have surgery to see a physical therapist. Seeing your physical therapist can also give you access to preventative therapy. After completing your physical therapy, you should maintain close contact with your therapist. Doing so gives you the assurance that you can stay healthy and keep your performance. 

A yearly exam helps assess the individual’s current fitness level, mobility, balance, and function. They can also help device a performance program that keeps you progressing in your strength, flexibility, and mobility. A yearly exam will help identify any muscular imbalances. You can conceptualize your yearly exam by thinking about it as an annual checkup similar to the one you receive from your regular physician. 

What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?

Maximize Your Movement 

Physical therapists identify, diagnose, and treat your movement problems. After an injury, these doctors restore your movement as much as possible. Physical function and exercise are important for the following areas: 

  • Health, wellness, and fitness
  • Managing pain

Get the Recommended Amount of Physical Activity 

Regular physical activities benefit your physical, mental, and social health. You can also prevent or improve chronic conditions such as: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity 
  • Depression
  • Certain cancers 

Care for Specific Needs

Physical therapists design treatments specific to your needs, challenges, and goals. They can spearhead a strategy that makes sense with your defined plans and they can serve people of all age groups and demographics. 

Pain Management and Avoiding Prescription Drugs

Doctor-prescribed opioids are the only option in some cases, but they should only be used sparingly. Physical therapists help patients manage their pain without using these drugs, reducing the risk of dependency, substance abuse, overdose, and withdrawal symptoms. Solutions such as physical therapy are preferable alternatives to opioid medications.

Conclusion- What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy? 

Physical therapists can help tailor your treatment program to your body, goals, and lifestyle. They allow you to maximize your movement, manage pain, avoid potentially avoid surgery or prescription drugs. 

Physical therapy is not just for people after a hospitalization or surgery. Anybody with chronic pain can benefit from physical therapy. Adhering to a therapeutic program can promote mobility, reduce pain, restore function, prevent surgery and potential disability. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.