These ergonomic adjustments can help prevent the top five most common injuries physical therapists see because they will prevent your bones, muscles, and joints from becoming unstable and weak. These common injuries include:
An individual may sustain a sprain at any time, not just when participating in a sport. The type of sprain typically does vary by the activity the person regularly engages in, however. For example, a tennis player is more likely to sprain an elbow, and a sprained knee is more commonly seen when the patient plays team sports. Surprisingly, doctors are now seeing patients with sprained thumbs as a result of texting or video game use.
Rest is the preferred treatment for a sprain, yet this tends to leave the affected area weak. Physical therapists help to prevent this weakness, by rebuilding the area that has been injured and working to make it stronger so future sprains become less likely. This is of great importance, as each subsequent sprain increases the risk of future sprains. This can become a never ending cycle without physical therapy.
Individuals who sustain a fracture may find the area has weakened during the treatment phase. As a result, the physician may recommend physical therapy to return the injured body part to optimum function in the shortest time possible. This therapy usually begins once the cast or sling has been removed and the area becomes mobile again. Lifting restrictions and/or weight-bearing precautions may also remain in place until the therapy has progressed, with the goal being to improve functional mobility and increase range of motion.
In addition, the therapist works with the patient to ensure he or she can tolerate any loads or stresses placed on the affected area. Exercises will be suggested to help with these goals, and the focus will be on the area that sustained the fracture and the nearby joints. The exercises recommended are specific to the joint affected and the patient’s specific condition.
Torn Ligaments and Tendons
Athletes often involve the treatment of torn ligaments and tendons, as these injuries are commonly seen in team sports, including hockey, baseball and soccer. In many cases, surgery becomes necessary to repair the torn ligament or tendon, before the patient begins physical therapy to restore the tissue that has been injured. The goal of the therapy is to improve the person’s range of motion through weight lifting and stretching, among other things.
The physical therapist takes numerous factors into account when creating a treatment plan for a patient with a torn ligament or tendon. He or she looks at the person’s age, level of regular activity, physical fitness, the individual injury and the patient’s overall health. Leg workouts will differ significantly from shoulder ones; thus the Physical Therapist must understand how to rehabilitate all parts of the body
Arthritis falls into one of two categories: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, a connective tissue disorder. Individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis typically experience periods where the condition worsens followed by periods of remission. The onset and progression of this disorder tend to vary by patient, but all experience joint inflammation. When this inflammation occurs, the joint’s protective cartilage wears away, and this leads to a loss of movement and mobility along with significant pain.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, involves the progressive and chronic degeneration of joints. This process leads to lipping at the surface of the joint, and the cartilage wears away as a result of either repetitive stresses of the minor variety or major stresses that tend to be excessive. As a result of the pain, movement is limited, bringing about increased pain, muscle weakness and contracture.
In physical therapy, patients learn how to protect the joint and conserve their energy. Body mechanics and posture training may be part of the treatment plan, and patients are taught how to manage the pain. Strengthening and stretching techniques may also be taught, and the treatment plan depends in large part on whether the patient is experiencing a flare up or if he or she is in remission.
Dislocations need to be treated promptly, as one dislocation increases the odds of future ones. A dislocation is easily treated by popping the injured joint back into place, but the area must be strengthened and conditioned to ensure the cartilage isn’t further weakened and damaged. For example, following a shoulder dislocation, the physical therapist works to improve the range of motion of the shoulder and to increase the strength of the shoulder muscles. This includes the muscles of the rotator cuff, the muscles supporting the shoulder blade and the biceps and triceps. These are only two of the many things a patient may encounter when taking part in physical therapy for a shoulder dislocation.
Pain should not be a way of life. It is time to take care of yourself. To request an appointment, click here for Elite Relief, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
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