4 Facets Of Physical Therapy Treatment
If you injure yourself or suffer from chronic pain as a result of a health condition, your doctor may refer you to physical therapy. Unlike pain-relieving medication, which simply masks your pain, physical therapy seeks to address and correct the root cause of your pain. Physical therapy isn't just one thing — it's a complex treatment that is made up of many different procedures and exercises. These are four facets of physical therapy treatment:
1. Soft Tissue Manipulation
Soft tissue is any part of your body that isn't cartilage or bone. Your muscles and tendons are both considered soft tissue. Your physical therapist will carefully manipulate the soft tissue in the area where you're feeling pain. They will use a combination of massage techniques to ease soreness and promote healing.
2. Chiropractic Treatment
Some back and neck pain actually originates in your spine. When your spine isn't properly lined up, it can cause your muscles to overcompensate. As a result, you may feel a persistent tightness in your back or shoulders. This pain can be mild to severe. During your physical therapy session, your therapist will have you stand up straight so they can observe the curve of your spine. If they find any inconsistencies, they will perform a chiropractic adjustment. During the adjustment, you may hear your spine crack, but you shouldn't feel pain. After the treatment, you will likely feel better.
3. Posture Correction
The way you sit and stand throughout the day can have a big effect on your pain levels. If you slouch, you're actually putting pressure on the wrong parts of your spine, which can lead to back and neck pain. In physical therapy, you will learn how to correct your posture. Your physical therapist will give you tips to check in with your body throughout the day, which means noticing your posture and making a conscious effort to change it for the better.
4. Strengthening Exercises
Your muscles support every movement you make throughout the day. When you experience pain, you may avoid using certain muscles because you're afraid it will trigger discomfort. Over time, this can lead to muscle imbalances that can actually exacerbate your pain. In physical therapy, your therapist will have you perform targeted exercises to rebuild your muscles. Some of these exercises will also be designed to increase flexibility. When your muscles are stronger and more flexible, you should find that your pain decreases.