It is important that patients understand all their options when seeking medical help for orthopedic problems. In most cases, their first relief option should be physical rather than surgical, or even pharmaceutical.
Today, we are seeking to educate patients on the specific specialty areas of physical therapy that provide non-invasive methods of treating many types of injuries. In most cases, physical therapy is the first step to recovery from various physical injuries and may in fact allow the patient to completely avoid expensive and intrusive surgical procedures altogether.
The field of physical therapy has five distinct sub-specialty areas.
Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy focuses on helping individuals who suffer from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. The goal of this sub-specialty is to increase endurance and improve functional independence.
Geriatric physical therapy focuses on the unique movement needs of older adults. This includes treatment for conditions such as arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, joint replacement and balance disorders. The goal of geriatric physical therapy is to help restore mobility, reduce pain, accommodate physical limitations and increase physical fitness.
Neurological physical therapy focuses on neurological conditions and impairments, such as Alzheimer's disease, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and stroke. Treatment plans attempt to achieve the highest level of autonomous function for living as independently as possible for as long as possible. Physical therapists concentrate on teaching clients to adapt to visual, balance, mobility and muscle loss impairments for activities of daily living.
Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on restoring function to the musculoskeletal system, including joints, tendons, ligaments and bones. Many sports injuries fall into this category. Treatment methods include stretching, strength training, endurance exercises, hot and cold packs, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation and joint mobilization.
Pediatric physical therapy focuses on the unique needs of infants, toddlers, children and adolescents. Early detection is desirable when a child experiences problems that inhibit natural movement and learning. Physical therapy is used for children suffering from diseases or injuries, including:
Physical therapists use therapeutic exercise, modalities and treatments to help children alleviate pain, regain strength and range of motion, master proper body mechanics for balance and flexibility and improve gross and fine motor skills.
Two emerging sub-specialty practices in physical therapy are:
If you are experiencing joint or muscle pain, your best bet is to consult a physical therapist, as well as your doctor. Visit Excel Rehabilitation Services on Burnside Ave. in Gonzales, Louisiana. You will receive one-on-one professional diagnosis and care from an experienced physical therapist!