What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy uses evidence-based techniques and treatments to restore function and improve health. Physical therapists use common modalities such as heat/cold, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, manual therapy, strengthening and stability exercises and elongation of tight muscles to address injuries sustained by the structures of the musculoskeletal system: bones, ligaments, muscles, and cartilage.
Common treatment modalities
- ➢ Hot/Cold Packs: Hot packs are used to relax muscle spasms and tightness in the muscles. Cold packs are used after acute injuries with inflammation present (sprain ankle). Hot/Cold packs will prepare muscle movement to be less painful for stretching and strengthening.
- ➢ Electrical Stimulation: Activates nerves in damaged or inactive muscle tissues to enable those muscles to be correctly strengthened.
- ➢ Ultrasound: sound waves that are transferred to a specific part of the body using a probe. The sound waves travel deep into tissue creating gentle heat.
- ➢ Manual therapy: a hands-on approach for a specific body part to treat spasms in a muscle, limited joint motion and more and can consist of joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, trigger point techniques and myofascial release.
- ➢ Strength and Stability Exercises: important techniques used by physical therapists to correct muscle imbalances and avoid future injuries.
- ➢ Stretching: Elongation of tight muscles to help patient return to his previous level of function and to prevent future injuries.