How Physical Therapy Can Improve Your Quality of Life
October is National Physical Therapy Month – a great time for us to honor Family Home Health’s physical therapists and the work they do to keep our clients healthy. In case you’re not familiar with what physical therapists do, we wanted to share some information about their work and how they can help improve your quality of life.
Physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals who can identify and treat movement problems, and help patients reduce pain and gain strength, and improve ambulation, balance, and range of motion.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), besides helping you recover from an injury or improve your mobility and function, physical therapy can help you:
Manage pain and chronic conditions. Whether it’s arthritis, chronic back pain, or even Alzheimer’s, physical therapy can help patients manage the pain and/or impact of a wide range of conditions. You’ll learn the best ways to safely and comfortably work the affected body parts.
Avoid surgery. It’s common for people to use physical therapy to help recover from surgery, such as joint replacement. But in some cases, physical therapy can actually help prevent or delay the need for surgery. One study showed that patients with spinal stenosis – a common cause of back and neck pain – can get the same results from physical therapy that they’d get from surgery.
Reduce the use of opioids and other prescription drugs. In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended physical therapy and other treatments over the use of opioids in certain cases in order to cut the risk of dependence and addiction. According to the APTA, “Opioids reduce the sensation of pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain. Physical therapists treat pain through movement while partnering with patients to improve or maintain their mobility and quality of life.”
Prevent future injury and chronic disease. Rebuilding your strength and learning the proper ways to move will keep your body not just strong to prevent future injury, but resilient against disease. For example, physical therapy can help strengthen aging bones against osteoporosis.
Physical therapists develop individual therapy plans that take into account each client’s medical condition and goals to help them improve, restore or maintain their mobility. Physical therapy is one of Family Home Health’s in-home services, so you can work on your plan in the comfort of your own home. Of course, we follow all COVID-19-related precautions (open this PDF for more info). Read more about all our home health services here.