Physical therapy has long been used as a treatment for injuries, perhaps resulting from a car accident or athletic injury. Physical therapy helps patients to heal effectively and gain strength and mobility following orthopedic injury or surgery.
“Physical therapists are clinically trained to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions in many areas of medicine, including orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, women’s and men’s health and many others,” Drew Jenk, a physical therapist with Banner Physical Therapy, said. “We commonly treat issues related to joint pain, sprains and strains, headaches, concussion, gait and balance deficits, surgery and many other sports and performance issues.”
Jenk shares a few issues you may not have thought of that physical therapy can help with:
1. Prevention: Physical therapy can be a wonderful prevention tool to help avoid unnecessary aches, pains, muscle-related injuries and even potentially to avoid surgery. Therapists can perform screenings for orthopedic dysfunctions as well as your likelihood to fall and then prescribe exercises to reduce the risk for injury. There is a lot of research showing the connection physical therapy has to helping prevent an ACL tear or lower fall risk in people susceptible to falls.
2. Increase Athletic Performance: Professional and recreational athletes often work with physical therapists to improve their athletic performance. At his clinic, Jenk uses a new wearable technology – dorsaViTM – that allows physical therapists to monitor a client’s performance, potential injury risks and provide customized exercise plans to help an athlete compete at their best.
3. Headaches, Jaw Pain, Concussion and Dizziness: Before exploring medication you may want to investigate how physical therapy can help these issues. Based on symptoms and diagnosis, a physical therapist can create interventions to address poor movement patterns, use hands-on therapy techniques to inhibit or facilitate poorly moving areas and re-integrate behaviors through specialized movements.
4. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD): Both men and women can suffer from PFD, which can cause discomfort in the pelvic area and even bladder and bowel control issues. For women, PFD sometimes comes as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. A physical therapist can help you strengthen the muscles and ligaments in this area to improve this condition.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you may consider scheduling an assessment with a physical therapist.