When you are in pain from a fitness injury the first person you want to talk to is the physical therapist. They have the knowledge and the technology to help you regain you mobility and ease the pain.
Physical therapists can diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries, from the most common sport injuries to the least known movement ailments.
7 Distinct Types of Physical Therapy
Ice, ice, baby! When you suffer from an injury which leads to swelling and inflammation, applying ice can reduce the inflammation.
Known as cold therapy, putting ice on an injury has been used for centuries, because it reduces the swelling, improving the patient’s mobility.
Some physical therapists use ice to reduce the inflammation before they conduct manual therapy sessions.
2.) Manual Therapy
Manual therapy is the specialty of physical therapists and is used on all types of injuries.
The practice involves massage, stretching and a mix of these two.
The goal of these movements is to help the body regain its normal mobility and reduce the pain.
After manual therapy most patients feel better and are able to function properly.
While inflammation can be reduced with ice, muscular spasm reacts to heat. Applying heat on muscles, tendons and ligaments decreases pain and increases the mobility.
Just like ice, physical therapists rely on heat to reduce the tightness in the affected area in order to be able to apply manual therapy effectively.
Many people try to avoid exercising when they are hurt, but in many injuries it is actually beneficial to continue to exercise.
Therapists use exercises for their patients to improve their condition and help the injury heal.
Many injuries can happen again due to a sedentary lifestyle, so using exercises specifically targeted towards a certain group of muscles can actually enhance the healing process and prevent future injuries of the same type.
5.) Ultrasound Therapy
Another procedure which prepares the injured area for the manual therapy and the exercises is the ultrasound therapy.
The sound waves relax the tissues and are presumed to help the healing process, but further research is needed to prove this.
Meanwhile, the ultrasound therapy can be used on any connective tissue injury and allows the therapist to conduct further treatments.
The procedure creates more space between the vertebrae, allowing the nerves to heal without the added pressure from the compression.
The disc cartilage also benefits from this procedure. Traction reduces the pain and allows the patient to lead a normal life.
7.) Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation is used by physical therapists to restore the strength of your muscles after an injury.
During the procedure a small electrical stimulus is applied to the muscles, in order to contract it.
This acts the same way as an exercise, but it promotes a speedier recovery.
This procedure is often using after major physical injury surgeries, like a knee replacement, because it shortens the healing time with several weeks.