Source: GNM Health
Despite some popular beliefs, physical therapy is not just rehabilitation after an injury or accident. It does not have to be painful, it does not have to last months, and it cannot be performed by any health care practitioner.
By looking at how an individual moves and performs functional activities, testing their strength and mobility, and considering postural implications and biomechanics, physical therapists can help clients with pain and difficulty associated with movement. Physical therapists also work with clients who suffer from developmental conditions, neurological conditions, and cardiopulmonary impairments that affect mobility. Prevention and wellness education is also a major component of the physical therapy practice.
The scope of a physical therapist practice allows us to examine patients thoroughly, diagnose musculoskeletal and balance dysfunction, and develop a plan to improve function, decrease pain, regain mobility, and most important, improve the patient’s quality of life.
Studies have shown that utilization of physical therapy services can reduce the need for surgery and prescription drugs. It has proven as effective as surgery for meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk diseases, among other conditions. Additional research shows faster, better outcomes when physical therapy interventions were initiated soon after sprains, strains, low back and neck pain. Waiting for treatment can exacerbate symptoms, lead to secondary impairments and dysfunction, and delay your healing process.
In New Jersey, you can see a physical therapist without a referral from a physician.
Physical therapists routinely work collaboratively with their patients and other health care practitioners. Treatment plans are designed to meet a patient’s individual goals and needs. Physical therapists often encourage their clients to empower themselves in actively participating in their healthcare, recovery, prevention. In many cases, patients develop an ongoing relationship with their physical therapist to maintain optimum health and movement abilities across the lifespan.
By Jerry Moczerniukm, MD, a doctor of physical therapy, a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, and a clinical director at DB Orthopedic Physical Therapy in Manalapan. He can be reached at 732- 462-2162 or via e-mail at Jerry @ dborthopt.com. There is also an office in Lincroft. Their Web site is at http://dborthopt.com.