Physical therapy focuses on the health and well being of a patient who is suffering from any number of ailments. These ailments can be diseases like arthritis, post-surgical difficulties, wear and tear of the body, or whatever else that may occur. Physical therapy is often used along with other medical practices with the same goal; the rehabilitation and return to normalcy that the patients once enjoyed.
There are various physical therapy techniques used by the professional that enable the patients to begin the healing process. Each technique differs in effectiveness for each ailment. The physical therapist is trained with the knowledge of which technique is best for which situation and will be able to implement what is needed to produce the desired result.
Some physical therapy techniques have been around since the birth of the profession, while other evolved after research and with technological innovations of the time. Physical therapy is a constantly changing and evolving process as more research becomes available.
One of the oldest physical therapy techniques is that of massage. Massages involve the manipulation of tissue in order to achieve a certain goal. That goal is different for each patient and is dependent upon the individual need of that patient. Such manipulation has an array of benefits. General benefits of this technique are relaxation and the release of tension. This physical therapy technique is relatively easy to perform but does take a considerable amount of knowledge to perform it properly. Often times, traction force is placed on the tight area to restore the tissue to a normal feel and texture. This myofasical release focuses on stretching to reduce the barriers and restrictions placed upon the body. This is done to reduce pain and improve movement.
Other physical therapy techniques focus on joint care. Arthritis and general stiffness and soreness can impair the proper use and movement of joints and create discomfort for the patient. The physical therapist will determine what the best way to reduce the pain is with ice packs, rest, or basic joint mobilization. The physical therapist is able to loosen the muscles that may be causing the stiff joints and work on improving the range of mobility for the joint. The therapist uses exact hand placement and motion to release the contracting agents and reduce pain. This is especially helpful to patients with arthritis who may allow their joints to grow stiff from lack of use due to pain.
Hydrotherapy is yet another physical therapy technique that is often used. Hydrotherapy, also called aquatic therapy, uses water as a helpful device in the implementation of complimentary techniques. The effects of the water are numerous. The water reduces stress and strain that are placed on the body during exercises performed on the land. This is helpful for those recovering from fractures, patients with arthritis, and even those who are overweight. The water provides resistance that is needed in successful exercises.
There are numerous other physical therapy techniques all with the same desired effect of restoring the health of their body. Those that suffer from limited motion and pain can benefit greatly from these techniques.