I get asked frequently why I chose to become a physical therapist. There isn’t a simple answer, but it usually involves a desire to help others. Whether it be injury rehab, post-surgery recovery, chronic pain management, or performance improvement, a physical therapist is there working with you every step of the way. It is so rewarding to hear patients talk about their accomplishments and know that we play a part in making those happen. In recognition of October being National Physical Therapy Month, here are a few ways that physical therapy may benefit you.

Reduce your falls risk and improve your balance

Physical therapists can assess your falls risk through simple screens and develop individualized plans to help improve balance. Strengthening and balance exercises make a difference when real-life situations cause a loss of balance. Physical therapists can recommend the use of assistive devices and home safety measures. Not to mention, Physical therapists can also diagnose when balance issues are caused by the vestibular system and perform various techniques to help restore proper vestibular function.

Reduce or eliminate pain

Manual therapy techniques, trigger point treatment, therapeutic exercises, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation are just a few of the methods therapists have to relieve pain and restore muscle and joint function. Whether the pain ranges from acute to chronic, physical therapists are able to evaluate the severity of the pain and employ strategies to reduce it.

Avoid surgery

The right treatment plan may be enough to eliminate the need for surgery by helping to heal the injury, reduce pain, and restore function. Even in cases where surgery is necessary, pre-surgery physical therapy contributes to a quicker recovery due to improved strength and better mobility.

Improve overall health

Physical therapists can help manage and improve many conditions including fibromyalgia, arthritis, and diabetes, among many others. In fact, women may have gender-specific health concerns, such as pregnancy, postpartum care, incontinence, lymphedema, and breast cancer. Women’s health physical therapy specialists can help manage.

Decrease headaches and jaw pain

Poor posture and muscular imbalances can contribute to headaches, jaw and neck pain, and poor sleep quality. A physical therapist helps restore mobility, improve posture, and educates about proper work positioning and techniques to decrease pain and improve sleep quality.

Prevent or recover from a sports injury

Working with a therapist that understands the specific types of injuries that can result from participating in various sports can be the key to establishing a proper program to prevent or decrease your injury risk. Even if you already experienced an injury, a physical therapist can help you recover faster and stronger so you will be ready to return to playing your sport.

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Molly Rittberg received her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to receive her doctorate from Rosalind Franklin University (North Chicago) in 2009. She has since worked in an outpatient orthopedic practice where she worked with patients of all ages, injuries and disabilities. She has a wide variety of experiences including knee, ankle, foot and shoulder injuries, post-operative conditions, spinal rehabilitation and peripheral neuropathies.