Physical therapy is a medical discipline that uses the body itself as the main method of treatment for injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. The goal of any physical therapy and rehabilitation program is to relieve symptoms, restore functionality and help the body’s natural healing process. This is typically accomplished through a number of targeted exercises and techniques designed to strengthen the body and improve range of motion.
At Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, we believe that patient education is very often the foundation of treatment. This is why we are providing the following overview of physical therapy, including information on physical therapists, the conditions they can treat and the specific methods they use to help patients achieve their wellness goals.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we can help, we encourage you to reach out to our caring and dedicated team today.
What is a physical therapist?
Through the training and education they receive, physical therapists are experts in the movement of the human body and how the musculoskeletal system works together to accomplish the basic activities we need to get through the day. Physical therapy schooling consists of receiving a degree from an accredited educational institution and then passing a state-administered licensing exam.
Physical therapists learn to meet with each patient on an individual basis, identify sources of pain and movement problems that may be contributing to symptoms, and then develop a personalized treatment plan. They are then trained to use a combination of education, instruction, and active and passive techniques to help patients achieve treatment goals and get back to normal functioning.
What conditions can physical therapy treat?
Physical therapy is mainly designed to treat musculoskeletal injuries, treat age-related conditions that impair functioning and provide any needed rehabilitation after intensive treatments like surgery. Some of the more common conditions treated by physical therapists include:
- Neck and back pain related to spinal injuries
- Hip and knee injuries
- Foot and ankle pain
- Repetitive motion injuries like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff injuries affecting the shoulder
These and other injuries and conditions can have a wide range of causes, including sports, traumatic injury or age-related degeneration.
What are the main methods of physical therapy?
Physical therapy can mainly be broken down into passive and active techniques. Passive therapies are those that the therapist applies to the patient, including assisting with exercises and stretches or applying manual therapy. Active techniques are those that the patient performs on his or her own, including strength and stability exercises.
Specific physical therapy techniques include:
- Manual therapy
- Therapeutic exercise
- Active release technique
Since every patient and condition is different, physical therapists will work to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the unique needs of each situation.
The Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation difference
At Arrow, our therapists are passionate about providing direction to the people who come to us for relief through setting achievable goals to help you return to a healthy and active lifestyle. We will provide a full assessment that includes reviewing your medical and treatment history, discussing your symptoms and performing a full physical and movement evaluation.
With our locations in Edison, Union and Woodbridge, New Jersey, we’re passionate about helping people get back to the quality of life they deserve. To schedule your initial appointment, contact one of our representatives today.