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What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy is a wide term. When you think of it, you think injury recovery; but it does have other uses.

Physical therapy is used to treat and improve muscle movement, pain, and mobilization. That is the more commonly known use of this kind of therapy.  But it can also be used to improve mental health. Studies have shown that the use of exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, it improves sleep, stress, mood, energy, anxiety, depression, isolation, etc. 

As you can see, physical therapy does more than simply impact an individual’s physical health. It also improves an individual’s mental health. Physiotherapists can offer:

  • Pain management with no medication.
  • Individualized exercise plans that can increase and improve social participation, general mood, and they will address issues faced by people with mental disorders.
  • Advice and intervention when it comes to mind and body consciousness.
  • Resolutions to mobility issues.
  • Developmental issues for children and young people.

What to Expect During Treatment?

Whenever you start something new, there is always that fear of the unknown. 

During your first visit your physical therapist will simply speak to you. They will gather all the background information and medical history. This is part of the assessment and examination part of the process.

It’s important to be honest and open about your condition. Open communication will lead to the creation of a plan that will help strengthen and heal your body.

You will then be asked to get up and move around. Here the physical therapist will evaluate the severity of your condition and how it affects your day to day living. They may also take your blood pressure and address any points of pain.

Then follows the diagnosis. Diagnosis helps establish what the main focus of the therapy will be (reducing pain, restoring mobility, regaining daily function). The PT and your primary doctor will come up with a plan that best helps address and improve your struggles.

Lastly, comes the implementation of the treatment plan. Once the examination is complete your physical therapist will go over what treatment will look like. Each session may consist of different kinds of activities or type of exercise. These activities/exercise  may  include;

  • Therapeutic Modalities: techniques that can help gain strength, mobility, and comfort. 
  • Massage and mobilization: Mainly to increase range of motion and flexibility. May involve hand-on soft tissue and joint mobilization.massage.
  • Exercise: The foundation of PT. Involves the use of stretches and exercises that will help you move and feel better (may require the use of equipment).

Pediatric Physical Therapy 

A Physical Therapists main role is to help an individual recover from an injury. When it comes to helping children under the age of 18, the physical therapists role changes a little.

They can help children recover from an injury but they also help those kids who have other health conditions. What do we mean when we state “other?” 

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Autism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Muscular Dystrophy and associated disorders
  • Spina Bifida
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Disorders
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cancer
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Hypotonia
  • Developmental coordination disorder

One of the main differences between pediatric PT and regular PT is that pediatric physical therapy is more fun and interactive. Children don’t typically understand why they are in therapy.

Pediatric PT requires family involvement, playtime, and other fun activities to make the time both beneficial and enjoyable for the children. It’s goal is to help children reach their full potential. We want them to be independent and be able to function better in all settings. Whether at home, in school, or in any other environment.

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