Chances are, if you have ever visited your primary physician for an injury or chronic pain condition, it is very likely that they recommended or referred you to a physical therapist. Physical therapy is the preferred treatment method for a lot of medical pain conditions. This is because physical therapy has shown good results. Attending physical therapy for an injury provides the patient with the following benefits.
The ability to pinpoint the pain
Sometimes, especially with back pains, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the pain is coming from. If you do not know the source or location of the pain, you are more likely to injure or harm it again. When you attend physical therapy, you have a better chance at pinpointing the exactly location and source of the pain. This can help with diagnosis and with creating a treatment plan that has a better chance of successful results. Your physical therapist can locate the exact muscle, tendon, or bone that is exhibiting pain for you.
Education around pain conditions
Physical therapists are also a good source of education. Primary physicians often have many patients and do not have enough time to thoroughly educate a patient on their pain or the cause of their pain. Understanding where your pain is coming from and what caused it is important in recovery. When you know what caused your pain, you know what lifestyle changes to make. The physical therapist can also teach you about different surrounding muscles and joints in the body. This knowledge is crucial in overcoming an injury with chronic pain.
The ability to strengthen surrounding muscles
Sometimes for proper healing, rest is the most important. For example, a person with hip pain may require a full rest of the problematic hip. However, if the person is still walking and running regularly, the hip may never fully recover. This can lead to chronic pain and a worsening of the hip pain. Lower back pain is the most common. In a study, total medical costs for low back pain were $2,736.23 lower for patients receiving early physical therapy.
This reduction in pain is due to the fact that the physical therapist is able to aid in strengthening the surrounding muscles. When the surrounding muscles are stronger, the problematic area is able to rest and fully heal. In fact, this is one of the major goals of physical therapy, whether the therapy treatment is from lower back pain, knee pain, or hip pain.
The prevention of osteoarthritis
When an injury is not given sufficient rest to heal, it can develop into osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the number one most common form of arthritis. Sometimes referred to as degenerative joint disease or wear and tear arthritis, this condition most frequently occurs in the hips, knees, and hands. It can occur in any area of the body with an unhealed bone injury though. Because physical therapists focus on strengthening the surrounding muscles, the bone gets a better chance at healing and reduces the chances of developing osteoarthritis.
Every year, 50% of U.S. adults develop a musculoskeletal injury that persists longer than three months. Early treatment of these painful conditions is important. For this reason, many primary physicians immediately refer to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can provide a patient with many benefits, including a reduction in chances of developing OA. Regardless of your specific injury, physical therapy should always be considered as an early treatment option.