10 Physical Therapy Benefits - Why PT is Important?
Updated: Apr 25
The benefits of physical therapy have been documented since around 2700BC, both in China and in Ancient Greece, through Hippocrates (460 BC.) who is considered the "Father of Medicine". Body exercises and massages showed evidence not only of helping with muscle recovery but also with well-being in general.
According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), developed in 1958, Physical Therapy or Physiotherapy is "the science and art of treatment through therapeutic exercise, massotherapy and electrotherapy, and the use of other elements such as water, light or heat. It includes the execution of different tests to determine muscle strength, the value of the affectation, range of motion, functional capabilities, as well as the constant control of evolution”.
In turn, the World Confederation of Physiotherapy (WCPT) says that "PT is a set of actions, techniques, and methods that, through the application of physical means, prevent, recover and adapt people affected somatically, or to maintain an adequate level of health".
Why physical therapy is important?
First of all, to gain the benefits of physiotherapy, it is important to mention the complexity of the physical therapist's function. All therapies are exercised according to the cause of the injury. Otherwise, if they do not produce relief, they can aggravate a certain condition.
This means that the physiotherapist has to be trained to deal with an endless number of possible injuries, conditions, and also to deal with patients of different ages and mentally challenged people. Therefore, physiotherapists not only have to be highly trained and educated professionals, but they also need to develop empathy. This helps the patient to understand that the physiotherapist is there to help, understands what he or she is going through, and never undermines the pain.
The main physical therapy advantage is to provide specific treatment with a focus on injury rehabilitation, providing solutions to muscle problems, avoiding losing partial or total mobility of an affected area. All of this, while having concern with the patient's safety and comfort.
What is the purpose of physical therapy?
At the same time, it seeks to reduce patients' pain, improve body posture, improve physical abilities, as well as psychological status, improve conditions for routine activities and inform the patient about certain pathology related to mobility and locomotion.
What are some common conditions?
Rheumatic lesions: They mainly affect cognitive tissue and musculoskeletal and locomotive systems. Examples are:
Sports injuries: These alterations occur due to poor practices or improper use of sports equipment in training or competitions. Nonetheless, even with the best practices, professional and amateur athletes are likely to have several injuries throughout their careers which need treatment. The most common are:
Tear in the muscles
Trauma injuries: They can occur for different reasons, such as bad posture or systematic use of certain nerves until exhaustion. There are various types. Among the most common trauma pathologies we can cite:
Physical therapy benefits:
Pain management with reduced need for opioids: Researchers at Stanford and Duke universities in the United States found that patients with physical treatments are recorded to be between 7 and 16% less likely to use opioids. This demonstrates the pros of physical therapy as a non-pharmacological therapy for pain management, instead of the risk of making the patient addicted to painkillers.
Avoiding surgery: To avoid extreme acts such as surgeries, physical therapy provides a more conservative option with the use of different types of systems and devices for the rehabilitation and healing of ailments that bind the locomotive system. And, it can help patients who have been through surgery recently, assisting surgeons and doctors on the post-operative issues.
Improved mobility and movement: Physical therapy treatments have seen an improvement in the various factors influencing mobility. These anatomical, biomechanical, biochemical, neurophysiological factors - among others - are those that will determine the structures of support, muscle strength and tone, elasticity, muscle metabolism, relaxation capacity, and muscle recovery. Therefore, they improve the range of mobility.
Recovery from injury or trauma: Therapeutic exercise is one of the best methods to prevent different pathologies related to movement. In turn, it significantly favors the recovery of an injury and motor rehabilitation after trauma. Through this, the patient is encouraged to resume its daily routine.
Recovery from stroke or paralysis: After suffering from a cardiovascular condition or similar, the patient may need to relearn skills and movements that they have lost if the brain was affected, helping to regain quality of life and above all motor independence. Physical activities include different types of exercises and therapies, from technology-assisted to cognitive and emotional.
Fall prevention: Older people are often victims of such events more than other age groups, but there are other types as well. To decrease this trend, as well as the risk factors you must work on the "motor reaction". This capability depends on the perception of environmental stimuli and the speed and accuracy in responding to such stimuli.
Improved balance: As in the previous point, a physical therapy program can also help improve postural balance and control, especially in the older population, and in turn decrease and control the risk of falls. These training protocols are often specific to treat balance dynamically and statically, with or without visual references.
Management of age-related medical problems: Physical therapy for adults focuses on three fundamental pillars such as preventive physiotherapy, diagnostic physiotherapy, and traditional or rehabilitation physiotherapy, the latter being the best known for which lesions of different degrees, post-surgical treatments, among others are treated. These practices are no different from conventional practices, but they are tailored to each patient for better reoccupation.
How does physical therapy help?
We can say that it helps us in different aspects of our lives by positively intervening in our comprehensive health. It helps prevent disease and discomfort as well as re-educate our body.
PT can assist to combat the effects of some degenerative diseases too, such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, or brain injuries. Prevents symptoms of other pathologies, from muscular inflammations to skin diseases such as psoriasis, acne, and jaundice. It also strengthens the body and above all increases the quality of life and well-being in general.
How long does physical therapy take to work?
The duration of physical treatment will always depend on the patient's situation. In general, a session lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. Often, more than one method is required to treat some conditions, from simple muscle exercises or simply getting benefits of massage in physical therapy. Contact your clinic to understand if you will need monthly, weekly or daily sessions and how long each one will take.
What are the benefits of physical therapy for athletes?
If you are an athlete and want to aim physical therapy, consider that it can help you achieve your objectives. Athletes in almost all sports are likely to suffer injuries related to overly using some muscles or nerves or due to physical contact. Some of the benefits for athletes are:
Fights physical pain;
Accelerates the recovery of muscles, ligaments, and tendons;
Assures the body recovers correctly;
Eliminates toxins from the body;
Prevents injuries and future ailments;
Increases oxygen flow through healthy breathing routines and posture adjustment;
Uses therapeutic tables, confirming the patient is diagnosed and treated in a personalized way.
Whether you are an active person or have some type of muscle atrophy, you should consult with professionals such as Miracle Rehab Clinic to get the benefits from physical therapy. Our clinic is proud of specializing in Orthopedic, Neurological, Operative, Sprain/Strain Rehabilitation, Pre- and Post-Operative Rehab, and Sports injuries.
Our physical therapists are highly trained professionals, so you can rest assured you will be taken in good hands. Our therapy and physical rehab facilities combine excellent medical service while providing comfort to its patients for a quick recovery.