Physical therapy uses manual therapy and other healthcare methods to treat musculoskeletal acute and chronic concerns. You may benefit from PT if you got injured, need rehabilitation after surgery, or have a chronic medical condition that affects your movement and causes frequent or sustained pain. PT can help with mild to severe symptoms. Physical therapy can also play an important role in injury prevention and treatment for people who practice sports.
Physical therapy can help improve your:
- Balance and stability
- Muscle strength
- Range of motion
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we tailor 1:1 treatment plans to individual needs and goals to increase your chances of recovery. We are a Direct Access provider which means that you can work with us whether you have a doctor’s prescription or not.
#1 Manual Therapy
Manual therapy is a core element of PT treatment plans. It is an efficient and cost-effective type of care and can provide pain relief for acute and chronic symptoms. One of its primary forms is manipulation where your therapist applies pressure on specific parts of your musculoskeletal structure. It can also involve stretches to alleviate muscle tensions and spasms.
Massage involves kneading the affected tissues to reduce pain, stimulate blood flow, and eliminate muscle tension. Trigger point massage is a common technique that focuses on bumps and sore points in certain muscles, causing direct and referred pain.
Joint mobilization is another important aspect of manual therapy. Your doctor moves your joints in specific directions to improve mobility and range of motion. You can also learn how to do self-mobilization exercises as part of your at-home protocol to do between appointments.
Manual therapy can also use soft tissue mobilization to decrease wound tissue and adhesion. It can be done with or without instruments. An effective instrument-assisted method is the Graston Technique with which your provider uses special stainless-steel tools to reduce scar tissue and support tendons and muscle recovery.
One of the goals of physical therapy is to strengthen your muscles to increase stability, mobility, and other physical functions like gait and posture. Exercise is a common method to achieve it. It may be a passive exercise where your therapist moves your body for targeted muscle contractions and growth. Or it may involve active exercises where your PT provider demonstrates specific movements and sequences for you to replicate both during your appointments and at home to support your healing.
Some exercises may require equipment like walking on a treadmill or weightlifting to accomplish your PT goals. For example, gait training can help your body learn proper posture and walking. Building muscle memory helps restore proper function.
#3 Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation can support other components of your PT treatment plan. It can decrease pain due to muscular stimulation. Your therapist places electrodes on the surface of your skin before connecting it to a machine creating an electric current. They adjust the stimulation for your safety and to restore your muscle function. This PT method can be especially helpful to treat certain traumatic injuries and as part of a postoperative rehabilitation program.
#4 Ultrasound Therapy
Your therapist may use ultrasound for sprains or tendonitis to support blood flow. This deep heating treatment involves high-pitched sound waves that enhance the efficiency of other forms of PT and may accelerate your recovery. During ultrasound therapy, your doctor typically uses a wand-shaped device they place on the affected body area after applying some gel.
#5 Vestibular and Balance Therapy
If you are struggling with dizziness, frequent falls, blurred vision, and/or vertigo, your physical therapist may recommend vestibular and balance therapy. The goal is to retrain your brain and body to restore your spatial sensory functions.
Different types of exercises gradually re-educate your vestibular system to minimize your risk of falling and other symptoms. It can increase your coordination and improve your posture. Your vestibular and balance therapy program can involve exercises targeting your vision, inner ear function, and tactile perception.
#6 Hand Therapy
Hand therapy focuses on elbow, wrist, and hand injuries to restore pain-free function. It can involve manual therapy and other techniques such as Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) or shockwave therapy, cryotherapy, and splinting.
Hand therapy can treat conditions such as:
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis or golf elbow
- Trigger finger
Some of the benefits of hand therapy include eliminating stiffness and helping you perform daily activities and professional tasks painlessly. If you have had a nerve injury that caused increased and painful sensitivity, hand therapy can also alleviate or get rid of it.
Although certain PT methods require in-office appointments, a physical therapist, like our providers at Profysio Physical Therapy, can help you via telehealth, especially with video conference technology. For example, you can discuss your symptoms, including their onset, severity, frequency, and triggers. Your PT provider can also see your home environment and recommend certain ergonomic modifications to alleviate your symptoms and prevent their aggravation.
Patient education is an important part of physical therapy and can happen either in-person or via telehealth. This can include not only home modifications but also certain at-home exercises, or even discuss nutrition if your diet may impact your condition and increase certain symptoms like inflammation.
Your therapist can also teach you how to use heat and cold to safely alleviate your symptoms at home. This type of care can help with health issues like arthritis, back pain, and other injuries. Using a heating pad before physical activity can help prevent pain and improve blood circulation while applying cold after exercise can limit inflammation and aches. Using appropriate heating and cold pads so they do not get in direct contact with your skin is important.
If you need personalized physical therapy services in Middlesex or Monmouth Counties, call ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.