Physical therapy is often overlooked as a first-line treatment, because it may not offer immediate results. However, this form of treatment is necessary for many orthopedic problems, as it provides your body with the tools to become stronger and reduce injury in the future. There are a number of orthopedic conditions that respond very well to physical therapy.
At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team uses physical therapy alongside other treatments to allow your recovery to come full circle. There are six board-certified orthopedic surgeons in our practice, each of whom has years of experience treating orthopedic injuries and conditions with personally tailored treatment plans.
Understanding physical therapy
Physical therapy is a conservative type of treatment that aims to ease pain and improves the overall function and mobility of your body. It’s used to treat injuries, medical illnesses, and after surgery to allow you to recover properly.
Anyone of any age can benefit from physical therapy. It not only helps the problem area, it also improves your quality of life by:
- Improving mobility
- Relieving pain
- Recovering faster from injuries
- Learning to properly use assistive devices
- Getting a splint or brace
- Improving balance and flexibility
- Building strength
A physical therapist evaluates you to determine where your deficit is, and how to most effectively treat the problem. They use a number of techniques to alleviate pain and inflammation, and allow you the independence you desire.
Some of the treatment modalities used in physical therapy include:
- Therapeutic massage
- Heat and ice therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Soft tissue manipulation
Exercises are also used heavily in physical therapy. Based on your condition, physical therapists use strength exercises, balance exercises, and flexibility exercises to improve your overall movement and independence.
What conditions are treated with physical therapy?
Physical therapy is used for a multitude of conditions, from strokes to heart conditions. At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team uses physical therapy for orthopedic injuries and degenerative problems. Five of the conditions that respond positively to physical therapy include:
1. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury
Minor ACL injuries can be treated with physical therapy instead of surgery. This of course depends on how athletic you are and your overall health. A physical therapist creates a customized plan to improve the stability in your knee joint, and provides exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee to prevent further injury.
Arthritis leads to damage within your joints, and can be debilitating in some cases. Whether you have knee, hip, or back osteoarthritis, a physical therapist provides the tools and exercises to reduce your overall pain and improve movement in the joint.
3. Frozen shoulder
This condition happens when your shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful. It can seem almost impossible to move your arm. Physical therapy slowly chips away at this condition, using ice, heat, and massage therapy to loosen the tendons and ligaments in your joint. Once you regain some motion, small exercises to increase range of motion and flexibility are performed until you have normal use of your shoulder again.
Broken bones have the ability to cause problems in the surrounding tendons and ligaments. Physical therapy helps you to regain the use of the injured bone after it’s healed. If you require surgery to fix the fracture, physical therapy provides pain relief and small exercises to speed up your recovery.
5. Hip pain
Hip pain may be due to arthritis, or a sprain or strain. Your hip joints are vital to your mobility, which is where physical therapy comes in. The goal of physical therapy with hip pain is to improve movement and flexibility in the hip, which promotes increased range of motion and decreased pain.
The benefits of physical therapy
Physical therapy has a number of benefits to not only your condition, but your overall health and well-being. When used with other treatments, it improves your recovery, along with other benefits such as:
- Helps you avoid surgery
- Pain management without medications
- Fall prevention
- Improved balance and strength
- Increased range of motion
- Management of age related problems
When you have an acute injury or are dealing with a chronic orthopedic problem, physical therapy truly has the ability to improve your condition and your life. Pain relief alone is an asset, but being able to get around and be independent is one of the best advantages of this treatment.
If you think physical therapy could benefit you, don’t hesitate to call our team at one of our three convenient locations in McKinney, Prosper, and Sherman, Texas, to schedule an appointment. You can also book a consultation with one of our providers on the website.