Physical therapy is not just about helping those who are injured or recovering from surgery. It can help so many other people move better and avoid other forms of treatment such as opioids and surgery. This article will explore some of the benefits of physical therapy.

Physical therapy, also called physiotherapy, is a form of therapy that enhances, preserves, or restores movement and physical function to the body.

Contrary to what you might believe, a doctor’s referral for a physical therapist is not required in Utah. Anyone can book an appointment with a physical therapist. Let’s take a look at how physical therapy can benefit you.

1. Improve balance and mobility

The first benefit of physical therapy is increased balance and mobility. Physical therapy may include balance training, which is especially helpful for the elderly in maintaining functional independence. This can help people avoid falls that could result in serious injury. 

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “physical therapists can identity, diagnose, and treat movement problems.”

Being able to move freely without pain is important for your quality of life and independence. Physical therapy can help ensure your body stays moving.

2. Restore normal function from injury or after surgery

After getting injured or having surgery, you may face a long road to recovery. Physical therapy helps restore normal function to your body and get you back to living your life. Our techniques at Bridge Physical Therapy are personalized based on your needs and challenges. 

If you’ve been injured at work and are now unable to perform your duties, we know how challenging that can be. Physical therapy can help your recovery and return your ability to make a living doing what you love. 

3. Injury prevention

An often overlooked benefit of physical therapy is injury prevention. When starting a new exercise routine or sport, a physical therapist can give advice on how to transition into a program without injury.

If you have been more sedentary during the COVID pandemic and are interested in getting back to your regular fitness routine, or starting one now, we can help you do that safely.

You can also get a postural assessment to prevent back pain and other issues that can arise from incorrect posture. 

You would never go a year without getting your teeth or blood pressure checked. Why go a year without getting your joints, muscles, and movement patterns assessed? 

4. Manage pain without the need for opioids

While there are situations where prescribed opioids and medication are appropriate for treatment, physical therapy can help reduce pain and improve mobility. This eliminates the need for opioids in some patients. 

According to the CDC, “opioid pain medication use presents serious risks, including overdose and opioid use disorder.” 

The same study suggests that nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred to opioids, saying “patients with pain should receive treatment that provides the greatest benefits relative to risks. The contextual evidence review found that many nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, psychological therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and certain interventional procedures can ameliorate chronic pain.”

Physical therapy can often target and alleviate the source of pain, reducing the need for opioids.

5. Avoid surgery

Sometimes surgery is the only answer to getting your body back to normal. However, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, for conditions such as “meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, [small to moderate sized] rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease, treatment by a physical therapist has been as effective as surgery.”

So, if you’re looking at surgery to get your body moving again, physical therapy is worth considering. Talk to your doctor and see if your case could be benefited by non-surgical means first. 

Closing thoughts

There is so much more to physical therapy. Not only can it help you improve balance and mobility, restore normal function after surgery, prevent injuries, manage pain, and avoid some surgeries altogether, but the benefits of physical therapy also include increased coordination and improved range of motion for your joints.

We consider ourselves educators and love to empower our patients in understanding their bodies and how to prevent future onset of injury or dysfunction from occurring. 

Physical therapy can teach you new techniques and proper ergonomics to stay safe and keep your body moving efficiently. 

Get back to doing what you love with Bridge Physical Therapy. Our customized approach with a background in orthopedics, biomechanics, sports medicine, and kinematics allows us to understand the human body and the forces that act on it. 

Our individualized treatments will empower you to better understand your body and achieve optimal healing. Schedule your appointment today by calling 801-317-1618. 

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