Top 9 Benefits of Physical Therapy

When weighing our options between medical interventions for physical injury or pain, the options can be a bit bewildering.

Though we certainly recommend patients follow the recommendations of their healthcare providers, we think the benefits of physical therapy are compelling enough to warrant trying physical therapy first, if you haven’t already:

Physical therapy benefits:

  1. A holistic approach to wellness
  2. Non-invasive
  3. Less expensive than surgery and other interventions
  4. Patients are empowered through education and their own participation in the process
  5. Improved mobility and flexibility
  6. Enhanced strength and function
  7. Prevention and rehabilitation of physical injuries
  8. Excellent for pain management

In this article, we’ll cover each benefit one by one, with the goal of helping you decide whether physical therapy is the right fit for you.

What are the benefits of physical therapy?

1. Holistic approach to wellness

One of the things we take the most pride in as physical therapists is that we provide patients with a holistic approach to their own wellness and rehabilitation.

In addition to addressing physical injury or impairments, we are trained to consider factors such as lifestyle, stress levels, and mental well-being when designing treatment plans.

This comprehensive approach ensures that individuals receive personalized care that addresses their unique needs and goals.

2. Physical therapy is non-invasive

Physical therapy provides a non-invasive treatment that allows the patient to take their recovery into their own hands over time.

Many of our patients have avoided medical interventions for years because they fear the news they’re going to receive from their primary care provider. Whether they’re envisioning an invasive surgery with a long recovery time, or expensive medications, patients are often held back by this fear.

While we are certainly not nay-sayers of indicated surgeries, we do often recommend that patients seek physical therapy first, if they can.

Unlike surgery or invasive treatments, physical therapy uses basic targeted exercises, manual therapy, and modalities for healing. This approach means less risk, shorter recovery times, avoiding lost wages, and minimal discomfort.

3. Cost savings

Physical therapy offers significant long-term cost savings of physical therapy over other medical interventions. As mentioned above, medications and surgeries can be expensive, and can also lead to lost wages from time off of work for recovery.

By partaking in physical therapy, many patients find they are able to avoid surgery or costly medications that lead to a more complicated and expensive recovery process. This leads to a lower cost of treatment overall, even if you’re considering out-of-network physical therapy.

Another way that physical therapy offers an advantage is that we’re able to catch and treat issues early or even perform preventative physical therapy. By evaluating and intervening on issues when they’re essentially a minor annoyance, we can avoid costly surgeries down the road.

4. Empowerment through participation

One of the most useful benefits of physical therapy is that it empowers patients to take control of their own health. Though surgeries and medications are sometimes necessary, they’re impossible to replicate from the comfort of your own living room.

Each physical therapy plan is accompanied by a built-in educational piece and home exercise plan. Often, we will even provide you with the equipment necessary to perform your exercises.

You’ll understand how to properly do your exercises, how to use physical therapy rest days, and have an open line of communication if you feel that the physical therapy isn’t working for you.

This means that you can continue to remain mobile and pain-free for many years after the physical therapy is over. For many patients, this is an incredible confidence booster: not only will the condition improve, but you will be given the tools to maintain and improve your level of function and health over the long haul.

5. Improved mobility and flexibility

It’s no secret that remaining mobile and flexible will help us maintain function and remain injury free as we get older. As physical therapists, one of our primary goals is to build and maintain mobility and range of motion in the joints we’re targeting.

This, combined with proper strengthening of the musculature and connective tissue surrounding the joint, leads to a reduced risk of reinjury and an improved quality of life overall.

6. Enhanced strength and physical function

In addition to building mobility in the joints, we want to build strength and stability in the joints as well. When an injury has occurred, most patients will either voluntarily or involuntarily immobilize the joint for a period of time, leading to a loss of strength.

In addition to rebuilding that mobility, we want to rebuild and maintain strength and stability in the tendons, ligaments, and musculature so you can properly engage in the activities of your daily life without fear of reinjury.

7. Prevention and rehabilitation of injuries

It should perhaps go without saying that we are focused on the rehabilitation of injuries. As medical professionals, we don’t generally see patients until they’ve got some kind of issue causing them pain or affecting their quality of life.

Whether you’re an athlete looking to prevent sports injuries or an office worker striving to avoid repetitive strain injuries, physical therapy can play a crucial role in injury prevention.

Physical therapists can assess movement patterns, identify imbalances or weaknesses, and design personalized exercise programs to address these issues proactively.

Additionally, for those recovering from injuries, physical therapy can facilitate a safe and effective rehabilitation process, guiding individuals step-by-step toward full recovery.

8. Pain management

One of the primary goals of physical therapy is managing pain and discomfort. One of the fortunate side effects of becoming stronger and more mobile is that it will alleviate not only the pain associated with your injury but general aches and pains in joints and structures affected by the injury as well.

Through targeted exercises, manual therapy, and modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation, physical therapists can help reduce pain levels and improve, allowing individuals to resume their daily activities with greater freedom and confidence.

9. Management of chronic conditions

Physical therapy is not just for acute injuries; we’ve had many patients over the years extol the virtues of our services for maintaining some kind of chronic issue that won’t be leaving them alone any time soon. While it’s unfortunate to see chronic issues arise, we want patients to know that they can absolutely manage their conditions to live the highest quality of life possible.

Some of these condition include arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain syndromes. By incorporating a combination of exercise, manual therapy, and patient education, we can help individuals better manage their symptoms, improve function, and enhance their overall quality of life.

Try physical therapy first

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on our site, we believe that in general, following the advice of your primary care physician is the best. However, if you believe that physical therapy may work for you, it’s worth discussing it with your healthcare professional to see if it’s an option for you.

Trying physical therapy first tends to lead to a lowered cost of healthcare overall, less time off work, less pain, and improved mobility and function over the long haul.

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