After a severe injury of illness which has left a patient on bedrest or in a cast, recovery can sometimes feel never-ending. When the symptoms subside and the cast is removed, it might still be difficult to move around and patients might wonder how they will return to their everyday lives. For many, this is when Physical Therapy helps the most.
You might be wondering what Physical Therapy (or PT) is whether or not you need it, though. In honor of Physical Therapy Awareness Month, Kyle ER is here to shed some light on this kind of long-term medical treatment and when it can be helpful for patients after a medical emergency.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy is defined as the treatment of a disease, injury, or condition by physical methods. These methods can vary from exercises, massages, heat treatment, and many other specialized techniques that work in tandem with medications and sometimes surgery.
You might have heard the term before in reference to physically disabling conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, but many patients use physical therapy everyday to recover from temporary, even mild conditions. Anytime a patient’s body might have limited mobility or strength due to a condition, physical therapy might be a helpful supplement to medical treatment.
Who Needs Physical Therapy?
It is easy to say that those who need PT are people who have suffered severe medical conditions, but because PT has so many different techniques, it can be hard to tell when, or if, it applies to you. If you are worried about whether you or someone you love might need PT in the future, then try to assess their situation.
Many long-term PT patients are patients with health conditions that limit their mobility. Those who use walking aids or wheelchairs might attend regular physical therapy to get expert care and assistance with their own body-strengthening exercises. But short-term PT is a valuable medical tool to many patients who might have trouble recovering from surgery, illness, or injuries.
Try assessing your physical condition after you’ve gotten hurt. Do you think you need physical therapy?
How Do I Know I Need PT?
Assessing your own needs can be one of the most difficult steps in physical therapy. For those who have not had it before, it might seem like something you should be able to “tough through” or over come on your own. But often times, well-intended patients can make their mobility and pain worse by doing the wrong exercises or moving too quickly in their recovery. Think and asses where you are by looking for some of these common signs of bodily discomfort after an injury, severe infection, or surgery:
- Noticeable muscle weakness in a limp or area of your body.
- Being less flexible or having chronically stiff joints.
- Getting winded and fatigued quickly, even during normal levels of daily activity.
- Balance impairment.
These are only some of the many symptoms which might indicate a patient needs physical therapy, but they can be a good place to start when you are assessing your own health and capabilities. In essence, if something doesn’t feel right, physically, after you have had surgery, an injury, or an infection, you might want to think about physical therapy. Consult with your doctor about what treatment options might be right for you, and how to gain a referral.
At Kyle ER, we learn about and appreciate physical therapy every day. In emergency medicine, we can see patients who require PT after their casts are removed, when they’ve recovered from surgery, or even when they’re trying to strengthen their heart after cardiac arrest. We encourage patients to find the best treatment for them, PT included.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, content writer at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Kyle ER or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.