If you know what physical therapy is, you most likely know that it involves stretching and resistance training designed to restore your mobility and cut down on chronic pain.  However, there are more reasons than those to go to a physical therapist.  A physical therapy treatment could also help you in the following ways.

1. Improving Neurological Issues

Neurological diseases like strokes, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and ALS can all reduce your ability to move and control your limbs.  The right physical therapy session can restore some of your control and bring it closer to where it was before.  It’s never easy to repair or replace nerve damage, but with enough practice through physical therapy, it’s possible.

2. Improving Balance And Unassisted Walking

Your ability to balance can suffer because of diseases that affect the inner ear, and if you’ve spent months or years sitting or lying down you will probably be out of practice and need to build up your atrophied muscles.  Physical therapy gives you the opportunity to improve both.  Some of the therapy can include walking short, controlled distances with support before eventually moving on to walking on your own again and maybe even running.

3. Reducing Symptoms And Slowing Diseases

Some diseases take their toll on your ability to move around and control your body.  Physical therapy can’t treat the underlying causes, but consistent sessions can help you keep your mobility up for as long as possible.  The therapy sessions can feel hard and painful, but most patients would say the improved independence is worth it.

4. Avoiding Other Treatments

Physical therapy is a very simple and direct form of treatment.  Nothing goes inside your body and nothing comes out, you simply have to exercise certain muscles in certain ways so you can recover from an illness or slow its progress.  That’s why many people choose physical therapy as an alternative to invasive surgery for issues like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.  Physical therapy might not work in every case, but there is very little risk in trying.  Physical therapy as pain treatment can also help you avoid dangerous opioid painkillers.

5. Saving Money

Physical therapy is simple and direct.  You need a highly trained professional to oversee your progress and design your individualized treatment sessions, but the equipment is much cheaper than what a heart doctor would need to examine and diagnose a patient.  If you can see a physical therapist regularly instead of visiting a more expensive specialist, you can save a lot of money.

Physical therapy is an essential part of the surgery recovery process, and it also comes in handy when you’re recovering from a serious accident and broken bones.  However, doctors will also prescribe physical therapy sessions for neurological disorders and chronic pain treatments, and in some areas you can visit physical therapists directly to see how they can help you.  If you have a medical condition that affects your mobility, contact a local physical therapist and find out what your options are.

- The Wellness Center of NY
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