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Physical Therapy

What is physical therapy?
Physical therapy is an area of health care that deals specifically with the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. The main goal of physical therapy is to restore maximum functioning to the patient using heat, cold, massage, exercise, and electricity.

Who needs physical therapy?
Physical therapy can be used on just about everyone, from newborn babies to the elderly. Areas where physical therapy can help a patient include sports injuries, arthritis, amputees, cancer, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, hip and joint replacement, balance disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and post coronary bypass surgery. For children, it can help with detecting the start of a problem, developmental delays, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy, among other things.

What happens during physical therapy?
The length your therapy lasts will depend on your healing rate, motivation to get better, and how your pain is perceived. To begin, testing may be ordered to pinpoint the problem. This could be lab work or x-rays, or both. The doctor will then decide which treatment may be best for you. He may have you exercise for balance, strengthening, and stretching. You may use moist hot packs or cold packs on the affected area. You may need electrical stimulation on the area. This involves using an electrical current on the muscle to stimulate the area. The doctor may also order massage therapy for you.

If physical therapy is ordered for you, you should always follow your doctor's instructions and complete all therapy sessions. This will help to ensure that you will be well on your way in the healing process.


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