The ability to function, move freely, and perform everyday tasks is something people with musculoskeletal injuries rarely take for granted. Reaffirming control over damaged parts of the body can be a long, strenuous process. That's why orthopedic physical therapy can be a wonderful asset in the lives of those recovering from such injuries. About one in seven Americans have some kind of orthopedic impairment, and it's also the most common reason people seek medical care. As far as medical science has come, there is still only so much that can be done to treat such injuries. Physical therapy is one of the best choices for those affected by orthopedic injuries to regain some control over their physical liberty.
Why Work with a Physical Therapist?
If you've lost mobility or function due to an orthopedic injury, a physical therapist may be able to help you recover what you've lost. It's a process of retraining your body to become adjusted to the way it was altered and allowing it to adapt to this change. With a little work and dedication, impressive results have been achieved by many who had been significantly limited before.
Orthopedic physical therapy may be useful in treating:
- Muscle Sprains
- Ligament Sprains
- Post-operative Conditions
- and other musculoskeletal conditions.
The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of mobility and comfort within the affected area. After recovering from a condition such as this, it's fairly common for pain and stiffness to prevent you from physically operating as you would normally. Physical therapy aims to help by routinely working with the affected area to develop a new sense of balance and motion while you're recovering. In a sense, it's intended to restore your normal way of life as efficiently as possible.
Facts and Tips About Physical Therapy You Should Know
As you're probably aware, physical therapy isn't something that can simply be done for you. It's something that requires full participation and determination to have a chance of success. Also, every case is as unique as the person involved. What works for one person may not work as well for others, and different approaches may yield different results from one individual to the next. What's most important is that you give it your best effort in order to give yourself the best shot at results. While your therapy lasts, there are also a few helpful facts and tips you may want to be aware of.
Talk to Your Doctor
Physical therapy of any kind is a matter you should bring to your primary care doctor's attention. Your doctor will discuss the benefits of physical therapy and can assist in referring you to a physical therapist he or she recommends. You could always look for a physical therapist on your own initiative, but asking for your doctor's help can save you time and effort. Additionally, a doctor’s order or referral is often needed for insurance coverage. It is always a good idea to keep your doctor in the loop about your care.
Discomfort Is Normal
When you first start, it's not uncommon for people to feel slight pain and discomfort from their physical therapy. It may be challenging, but it's necessary to push your body before it has the chance to recover. Your physical therapist can help by letting you know how much effort is necessary and keep you in line with meeting your goals. Most people find the discomfort lessens as their body becomes adjusted to the therapy, which is usually a good sign that progress is being made.
Not All Physical Therapists Are the Same
Depending on your specific condition, you may require a therapist who specializes in your particular needs. As orthopedic physical therapists stem from the overall physical therapy tree, there are also specialists within the orthopedic branch. It can help to understand the specifics of your condition as thoroughly as possible just to stay on the same page as your therapist. Sharing an understanding of the issue at hand can help with maintaining a relationship with the intent of making you well.
You May Do Exercises on Your Own
Often, your physical therapist will give instructions to perform specific exercises regularly on your own. These help to keep your body pushing forward between visits to meet your desired outcome. These exercises are normally simple enough to perform a few times on a consistent schedule by yourself. Your therapist should ensure you're capable of performing such tasks without risk, but if any discomfort or pain does occur it's always a good idea to bring it to their attention. It's less like homework, and more like a strategy you're working on together.
Always Stay Determined
Like practicing your favorite sport or craft, physical therapy is an art that requires effort and dedication before improvement can happen. Giving it your best shot is the greatest way to obtain the highest chance of success. This doesn't mean pushing yourself too far or going beyond what limits your recovery has placed, but rather maintaining a sincere dedication to follow through with the established therapy. It may not be easy, but it may be the difference between physical limitation and liberty.
At Weiss Memorial Hospital, we've served Chicago's north side with the same care and compassion for over 60 years. We're proud to offer the Chicago Center for Orthopedics, a team of experts in every orthopedic specialty, to give our patients comprehensive and quality care. The Chicago Center for Orthopedics at Weiss was the first in the Chicago area to receive The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Hip and Knee Joint Replacements, and our Joint University emphasizes wellness and maximizes recovery efforts through education, a culture of early mobility, family involvement and group interaction. We're here every step of the way, offering care in orthopedic surgery, treatment, and recovery. We offer both inpatient and outpatient physical therapy as a first treatment, utilizing an entire network of physiatrists, therapists, nurses, and case workers to support your recovery.
Visit us here to learn more and contact us today to discover how we can help you on the path to better wellness!