It’s hard for us to think that our loved ones will undergo different treatment. However we need to make ourselves ready to avoid stress in the future. What do we need to expect if we or our family members are going to physical therapy? And what is physical therapy for?
Physical therapy is a healthcare specializing in evaluation, assessment, and treatment of an individual’s limitation in functioning mobility. Physical therapy is a care to aim to help you ease the pain caused by injury and illness, to be able to function, move and leave you like before your injury or illness happened. It is done by professionals called physical therapist, they are well trained to assess your condition. They will help you to regain your maximal and functional mobility and independence because PT focus on healing, prevention on injuries and disability. PT will help the patient to manage and treat injury.
What to expect at physical therapy?
Getting injured is hard for those who are into sports and those professional athletes. For them it can be the end of their career. People who are suffering from stroke get stressed and depressed because they think that they can’t recover from stroke anymore. But there’s nothing to worry, Physical therapist will help you with your condition
Physical therapy does not end in just one session. The patient’s progress during the therapy determines the number of sessions. Physical therapist will do assessment during first session. The PT will check your injury and will assist your needs. Usually physical therapist will ask the patient about the pain he feels, if he can move much or not, how the patients sleep and especially the medical history of the patient.
During physical therapy treatment, PT will use different techniques to help the patient to decrease pain and stiffness, improve motion and strength therapeutic exercise often used by PT to help the patient to gain their range of motion.
Your first visit in your PT’s office will be different in every session because you following session will be more therapeutic than assessment and always remember that your PT will require you a lot of sessions and tell your condition will progress and your injury will be treated.
Things that physical therapy test
Patients should expect that the PT will give test measure such as:
- How can you move around, from your bed to the living room from the living room to comfort room.
- PT will also give a test on how you climb or walk and take steps to be able to reach your desired place in the house.
- The PT will also check your heartbeat while you are physically active and doing different t task.
- PT will also observe your posture while standing or walking.
- PT will do strength test of your muscles are working normally at its normal capacity this assessment will help the therapist to make an exercise plan for the patients
After doing the observation your PT will work on creating a treatment that will be suitable for you and will make your recovery faster. The treatment plan will include your own goal like feeling better and more functioning, it will also include exercise that suits you and can help you to recover.
Everyone is different and our body responds in every treatment differently and don’t worry if you reach your goal slowly at least you take your step surely.
Kinds of treatment
Patient’s treatment may include:
- Stretching and exercising guided by the therapist
- Your PT may massage the part of your body affected by the injury; massage will vary from warm to cold therapy.
- PT will let the patient practice your movement by using cane or walker
After doing the treatment repeatedly during session PT will record your progress and will determine if adjustment is necessary, patients can do the exercise that the PT.
Importance of PT in healing injury
Physical Therapist is very important in healing sports injury. An injury caused by sports is common among athletes and those people who are physically active. PT helps to treat and prevent the injury of the patient because PT is trained to make a treatment plan for injuries, usually, sports injuries need physical rehabilitation.
Sports injury is much easier than treating illnesses PT usually use treatment and methods that will rebuild the strength and movement of the patient like stretching, exercising.
Physical therapy for stroke patients
Physical therapy is not just for injuries but stroke patients also need physical therapist for faster recovery from stroke. This is because physical therapy plays an important role in the process of rehabilitation. Stroke patients need comprehensive rehabilitation. In stroke physical therapy, involves dynamic process of assessment, goal setting, treatment and evaluation, the rehabilitation may include from the acute stage, rehabilitation stage though community stage.
Physical therapy for stroke patients is way different from physical therapy of sports injury it includes two general component, the first component is preventive measure that the main target is to maintain the physical integrity and avoiding complications that will be a reason of prolonging functional return these preventive measures should start during post-stroke or after the stroke happen until it’s still needed.
The second component is restorative treatment; the aim of this component is to promote functional recovery, if the patient is medically, neurologically stable and participating cognitively and physically this process should be done soon because the aim of physical therapy is to promote motor recovery of the body, optimize sensory function, and enhance functional diffidence and to avoid secondary complications.
Goal of physical therapy
- Rehabilitation and recovery. Regardless of what reason the goal of physical therapy is to improve the patient’s condition, to make the patient free from pain and any movement restriction because of injury and other ailments.
- Optimal function and movement of the human body. PT will help the patient to regain its optimal function and movement before the injury or stroke happens, further the treatment customized to fit with one’s health goal.
- Prevention of injury. this goal is common with athletes and individual who a have active lifestyle than those who are suffering from illness, unlike illness injuries are easily prevented and physical longevity is improved.
No matter what goal it is physical therapy is effective in treating injuries and other conditions that needed physical therapy it’s because of different techniques and methods used by the PT’s
Managing stroke patients and injured patients
Management of stroke patient and injured patients should begin soon if the patient is medically, neurologically stable and participating cognitively and physically stable but PT managing technique with patients is on their case.
Acute care (stroke patient)
- Prevent recurrence of stroke because if stroke will reoccur it’s harder for the body to recover easily
- PT will monitor vital sign, bowel movement, dysphasia adequate nutrition, and bladder of the patient so that he can record if there is changes happen to patient’s health.
- Mobilize the patient this is very important in motor skills recovery, PT will record the patient’s mobility progress so that he can make another exercise plan for the patient for its recovery.
- Encourage the patient to a resumption of self-care activities just like before the stroke occur, if the patient is well motivated he will do the work excellently and it will make the work of the PT easier.
- Prevent complications; treating complication is more difficult than treating the root cause of injury.
- Screen for rehabilitation and choice of setting, it’s very essential to choose the best rehabilitation for the patient to make the patient feel comfortable.
- Provide emotional support and education for the family and the patient, emotional stability is essential especially if we are facing health issues that’s why PT is promoting emotional support for the patients to make them feel that they can do it and they can recover no matter what.
Acute care (Injured patient)
- Provide education and emotional support for the patient and family
- Help the patient to recover its self confident
- Promote physical mobility
- Prevent more injuries because of mismanagement of the injury
- Avoid secondary complications
- Encourage patient to try to walk and do some physical activities (if he is physically ready)
Rehabilitation care (stroke patient)
- Set rehabilitation goal, develop a treatment plan and record the progress of the patient
- Improve mobility and self-independence
- Treat and avoid complications
- Close monitor on the functional health condition
- Community interaction
Rehabilitation care (injured patients)
- Treat complication if there is any
- Improve mobility and self-dependence doing physical activity
- Community interaction
- Community care (Stroke patients)
- Assist patients to integrate within the community
- Enhance family functioning
- Promote health safety to avoid further hospitalization
- Valued activities with community and family
- Community care (injured patients)
- Assist patient in gaining self-confidence
- Enhance family functions
- Promote a healthy environment
- Help to reconnect in the community.
The goal of physical therapist does not just focus on physical healing but it is also promoting emotional support from the family. Encouragement often makes the patients heal easily because they are well motivated in participating the treatment. Motivated people can do the work efficiently
Will you know that you need the help of a physical therapist?
Do you feel pained because of physical impairment or do you experience limited physical movement? If you are suffering from this you can consult your doctor. PT can help you to prevent further complications.
Common problems that physical therapist evaluate and treat
- Spinal cord injury
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sports injuries
Physical therapist can treat different conditions not just on the list but make sure before you seek the help of PT you consult your doctor first to avoid complication and further injuries.
When to see your doctor?
If you already suffer from stroke or injury your doctor will immediately advise you to seek a physical therapist for body rehabilitation. But if your doctor is not aware that you did suffer from injuries or stroke, go and ask him. Regardless of context it’s advisable to talk your doctor first before making any move about your health condition.
Preparing for physical therapy
It’s very important to make yourself ready before you undergo in certain therapy. You need to choose a right PT for you. First, you need to ask questions before choosing your PT. This is because your PT will work with you for a period of time.
Preparing yourself for physical therapy will help you to avoid stress because you already anticipated the activities you will be doing during the therapy session because sometimes if we are not aware of what will happen during the therapy a lot of questions will come into our mind like what will happen during the session? Does it hurt?
Emotional readiness is a must that’s why PT session cannot be started when the patient is not responding cognitively because it can cause stress and depression instead of healing the condition.
To avoid disappointment do not think that physical therapy can be done overnight and your injury will heal just for one day or an hour, the healing process is gradual it will take time and it will depend on the seriousness of the patient’s case. Though PT can treat different injuries and stroke they are not superhuman so be patient and committed with the treatment to see the better result.
Interesting facts about physical therapy
- Physical therapy repairs to numerous different types of interventions such as ice and heat
- traction therapy, manual therapy, and ultrasound therapy.
- Ancient form of physical therapy dated 460 BC when the founder of medicine and rational
- science Hector and Hyppocrates use water therapy for their patient.
- Modern PT started during world war 1
- PT is not just for adults they can also treat children
- PT can find the best work out for you
- They speed up your recovery
- They can correct your body alignment and posture issue