If you’re looking for physical therapy, contact the skilled nursing professionals at Foothill Heights Care Center. Our highly trained staff can provide comprehensive physical therapy for nearly any need. We customize our services to each patient and strive to maximize independence and quality of life. We look forward to helping you heal!
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy (PT) is a form of rehabilitative treatment that aims to restore the body’s health and function through physical methods rather than using medication or surgery alone. Patient care is provided by licensed health professionals called physical therapists. Physical therapists develop treatment plans for each patient based on their individual needs and goals. Treatment may include stretches, muscle group exercises, massage, heat or cold treatment, hydrotherapy, and electrical nerve stimulation.
If you need PT, a doctor will usually prescribe it or refer you to a clinic.
How Physical Therapy Helps
Physical therapy relieves pain and disease by improving the body’s posture, strength, and flexibility. In the treatment of scoliosis, for example, the physical therapist may do manual adjustments to help straighten the spine, then assign exercises to strengthen the back muscles that will hold the adjustments in place. The therapist may also teach the patient how to walk, bend over, or lift objects in ways designed to maximize the spine’s stability and prevent injury.
PT for conditions like stroke help patients recover their ability to walk and use their hands. PT can also help recent amputees adjust to using prosthetics and mobility aids, or help patients regain the full use of a limb after a severe fracture or joint replacement.
What is Physical Therapy Like?
Physical therapy is designed to be appropriately challenging but also achievable. Physical therapists monitor patients to ensure exercises are being performed correctly. While it is normal for patients to experience mild discomfort during treatment, it should never feel distressing or unmanageable. If any exercise appears too difficult for the patient to do, the physical therapist will often modify the movement or adjust the treatment plan until the patient becomes stronger.
Physical therapy usually takes place in a clean, comfortable facility that contains treatment tables, examination areas, and exercise equipment. The PT clinic differs from a gym, where the goal is to build strength and endurance as fast as possible. Instead, PT focuses more on performing movements correctly for the body’s long-term wellbeing.
What Physical Therapy Does
By improving the body’s strength and flexibility, physical therapy relieves a wide range of ailments, such as:
- Balance issues
- Back, knee, and shoulder pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Difficulty walking
- Lack of bowel and bladder control
- Physical weakness
- Pinched nerves
- Post-surgery stiffness
- Sports injuries (like tennis elbow and ACL tears)
While patients might experience some soreness a day or two after a PT session, many begin to see symptom improvements within just a few treatments.
Why Physical Therapy is Important after Surgery
After surgery, blood rushes to the surgical site to begin repairing the wound. This often causes swelling and stiffness. Moving the body is vital to reducing stiffness and making a full recovery, but too much movement can result in injury. Physical therapy allows post-op patients to regain their mobility safely and optimally. A physical therapist can also help monitor the surgical site to ensure it is staying closed and healing properly.
Physical Therapy vs Chiropractor
Physical therapists and chiropractors both treat spinal pain, but their approaches differ greatly. Chiropractors focus almost exclusively on the proper alignment of the bones and ligaments that make up the skeletal system. If they determine that these features are out of alignment, they will manually manipulate them back into place. Some people have found significant pain relief from such treatment.
A physical therapist, however, will take both skeletal alignment and the surrounding tissues into account. If they determine that a patient’s spine is shifting due to weak muscles in the back, they will work with the patient to strengthen those muscles. As a result, PT is often more effective than chiropractic treatment.
Also, chiropractic treatment is only appropriate for certain conditions, such as back and neck pain, headaches, and whiplash. Physical therapy can treat many ailments safely. Seeing a chiropractor too soon after surgery or for the wrong condition can cause serious injury. Additionally, some types of medical insurance will not pay for chiropractic treatment.
Who Can Do Physical Therapy?
Anyone can do physical therapy! There is no age or physical limit. PT has been recommended for babies with difficulty crawling to Olympic athletes with sports injuries to elders with joint replacements. Our facility treats a variety of conditions and accepts referrals from many local physicians. Feel free to contact us and ask if our PT services are right for you.
Paying for Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is likely covered by your medical insurance and may only require a copay for each visit. Medicare covers a certain number of PT services per year with a doctor’s referral. If you do not have insurance, you will need to make a self-pay arrangement with the clinic.
Where to Go for Physical Therapy
If you or a loved one need a place to go for physical therapy, call us at Foothill Heights Care Center. Our skilled physical therapists can help you achieve your personal health goals and regain your independence. We accept Medicare and most insurance plans. Call today!