Many of us associate physical therapy with athletes recovering from an injury of some sort. The truth is, physical therapy is for anyone that is experiencing soreness after an accident or some other kind of injury. Of course, a professional athlete is already in prime physical shape with a team of doctors and physical therapists at their disposal.

For the rest of us, we need a little more time to recover from an injury. While we may not compete at a professional level, we still need to get back to our daily living and normal quality of life. That’s where physical therapy comes into play.

We experience soreness for many reasons, either from post-operative stiffness, repetitive movements that strain the body, or injuries that didn’t require surgery but weren’t allowed to heal. In any case, experienced physical therapists use a wide variety of techniques to help their patients reduce pain or make it disappear completely.

Types of Physical Therapy Interventions

Depending on the nature of your injury, your therapist may recommend strengthening or stretching exercises, manual therapy, or modalities (such as electrical stimulation). The idea is to restore motion and function to the part of the body that was injured.

Therapeutic Exercise
The physical therapist will examine the area of injury and devise a plan of exercises. By targeting specific muscle groups, the body will regain its mobility as well as physical function while reducing pain. Your physical therapist may give you a list of exercises to perform at home (known as your Home Exercise Program or HEP), which help support the work done at the clinic.

Neuromuscular Re-Education
Other therapeutic techniques focus on improving balance, coordination, and strength. Physical therapists use these techniques to prioritize the quality of motion and joint control.

Other therapies include electrical stimulation, ultrasound, kinesiology tape (see photo below), and hot and cold therapy. Heat is used to either heat and stimulate blood flow while cold can help reduce swelling. These interventions are designed to speed the recovery process, improve motion, and reduce pain.

Physical Therapy Rock Tape application in Vancouver WA

Won’t my injuries heal on their own?

As we age, seemingly insignificant injuries like a minor ankle sprain could lead to bigger problems down the road. Changing the way we walk, even for just a week, can put unnecessary strain on the other ankle, hip, or back.

Now imagine changing the way you walk for a few months after surgery or an accident. It could cause damage that takes even longer to heal, especially without proper therapy. By starting physical therapy as soon as possible, your physical health will begin to improve almost immediately while saving the rest of your body from undue stress.

Physical therapy is just one of the departments we offer at Dr. Ibolit, along with chiropractic and massage therapy care. We feel all three disciplines offer the best way to help with soft tissue soreness, muscle and joint pain, and other injuries you may have.

While we specialize in patients who have been in car accidents, we can help anyone who is experiencing pain from their job, athletic activity, or other injuries. If you’ve been feeling pain for an extended amount of time, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.