Occupational Therapy

The Benefits of Physical Therapy After an Accident

The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to restore your function and mobility, and eliminate or minimize your pain so you can get back to your active lifestyle. At Colorado Center of Orthopedic Excellence, our physical therapy experts will create a customized plan of care to improve your range of motion, flexibility, and strength. Treatment may include modalities such as heat, cold, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound, as well as therapeutic exercise and a home exercise program.

Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who offer cost-effective treatment to improve mobility and relieve pain, reduce the need for surgery and prescription drugs, allowing patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.

A customized physical therapy program can also help individuals return to their prior level of functioning, and encourage activities and lifestyle changes that can help prevent further injury and improve overall health and well being. Primary care doctors often refer patients for physical therapy at the first sign of a problem, since it is considered a traditional approach to managing problems.

The benefits of physical therapy:

1. Reduce or eliminate pain.

One of the primary motivators for seeking physical therapy after an accident or injury is to obtain relief of pain. Therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques such as joint and soft tissue mobilization, or treatments such as ultrasound, taping or electrical stimulation can help relieve pain and restore muscle and joint function to reduce pain.

2. Avoid surgery. If physical therapy can help you eliminate pain and heal from an injury, surgery may not be needed. And even if surgery is required, you may benefit from pre-surgery physical therapy. If you are going into a surgery stronger and in better shape, you will recover faster afterwards, in many cases. By avoiding surgery, you avoid potential complications, long recovery times, and health care costs can be greatly reduced.

3. Improve mobility. If you’re having trouble standing, walking or moving, no matter your age, physical therapy can help. Stretching and strengthening exercises help restore your ability to move. Physical therapists can properly fit individuals with a cane, crutches or any other assistive device, and assess for orthotic prescription. By customizing an individual care plan, whatever activity is important to an individual’s life can be practiced and adapted to ensure maximum performance and safety.

4. Improve your balance and prevent falls. When you begin physical therapy, you will get screened for fall risk. If you’re at high risk for falls, therapists will provide exercises that safely and carefully challenge your balance as a way to mimic real-life situations. Therapists also help you with exercises to improve coordination, and assistive devices to help with safer walking. When the balance problem is caused by a problem in the vestibular (inner-ear) system, physical therapists can perform specific maneuvers that can quickly restore proper vestibular functioning, and reduce or eliminate symptoms of dizziness and vertigo.

5. Manage diabetes and vascular conditions. As part of an overall diabetes management plan, exercise can help effectively control blood sugar.  Additionally, people with diabetes may have problems with sensation in their feet and legs. Physical therapists can help provide and educate these patients on proper foot care to prevent further problems down the road.

If you are a candidate or think you may be one in need of physical therapy call Colorado Center of Orthopedic Excellence at (719) 623-1050 to request an appointment.