Physical therapy is a unique approach to treatment that involves a series of exercises and stretches designed to help your body heal itself naturally. As a non-invasive and holistic approach to healthcare, physical therapy is ideal for patients who hope to avoid the complications and recovery time associated with major surgeries.
It can also help you avoid potential side effects of using medications. Physical therapy involves a series of uniquely designed exercises and stretches that are utilized to help your body heal naturally and recover faster. Many patients also experience longer lasting recoveries when physical therapy is used as part of their treatment plan.
But if you’ve never experienced physical therapy before, you’re bound to have a lot of questions on your mind. Since this approach to healthcare is so hands-on (compared to other common treatments), many potential patients may be concerned about how safe this therapy really is and if there are complications to be concerned about. Does physical therapy hurt and can it make my condition even worse?
Here, we’re taking a closer look at this effective form of care and answering some of your most common questions. We also learn more about why physical therapy is such an effective, holistic, and yes, safe, method for treating a range of injuries.
Table of Contents
What is Physical Therapy?
Let’s start at the beginning: what exactly is physical therapy? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapy can be classified as a “specialized type of treatment of patients who are suffering from an injury, illness, or recovering from an accident.”
Therefore, physical therapy is ideal for treating a wide range of health issues. Physical therapy is based on hands-on therapy and a series of exercises and stretches designed to help patients heal naturally, recover from injuries, and even boost their overall physical performance.
When engaging in physical therapy, the patient will work with a licensed physical therapist. These specialists will work closely with their patients and utilize a series of hands-on treatments using various exercises and stretches.
Each of these treatment plans is developed specifically for the unique injuries and healthcare needs of the patient. Over time, which will vary depending on the patient and the injuries, the patient can expect to experience pain relief, improved mobility, and overall better health and wellness.
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
How does this process all work? Well, this question is a bit more complicated than it might first look. Physical therapy is a very personalized approach to care (which is one reason why it proves to be so effective for so many patients.
As such, no two experiences with physical therapy will be the exact same. But in general terms, physical therapy is based on the exercises and stretches that help your body heal, gradually, to ensure a lasting and safe recovery.
What makes physical therapy so unique is that it doesn’t just address your symptoms, like lower back pain or poor mobility. Instead, physical therapy treats the whole body, and as such, addresses the root cause of your health problems.
Physical therapy isn’t just a temporary fix like taking pain medication. No, this type of care focuses on your long-term health and your overall physical and mental wellness. To many, professional physical therapy is also viewed as a holistic approach to treating injuries.
This means that it treats the entire body and since your body is such a complex, interconnected machine, when you treat one part of the rest of your body, the rest also stands to benefit.
But it’s important to realize that physical therapy is not an overnight “quick fix” to your medical needs. For physical therapy to be effective, you need to dedicate yourself to your exercises and stretches. Physical therapy takes time and patience.
It isn’t an overnight solution. But if you do dedicate yourself to the physical therapy program, you may experience the long-lasting benefits of physical therapy care.
Is Physical Therapy Safe?
When working with a trained and licensed physical therapist, this is one of the safest types of treatment you can receive. No matter your age or fitness level, a physical therapy program will adapt to your specific healthcare needs and address the source of your health problems.
Compared to other types of treatment, such as prescription medication or surgery, there are far fewer risks and potential complications associated with physical therapy.
While physical therapy, especially in its early stages, may cause some mild pain, this is actually a positive sign as it indicates your body working to heal and progress. Of course, if at any time the pain becomes too significant, simply tell your physical therapist and they can alter the routine to minimize your pain while remaining effective.
Conclusion – Is Physical Therapy Safe?
If you’ve never had a physical therapy session before, it’s natural to have a few hesitations. Many first-time patients have quite a few questions, especially pertaining to whether or not physical therapy is safe.
Well, luckily, the answer for most patients is a resounding yes. Regardless of your age, fitness level, or your healthcare needs, physical therapy can prove to be a very effective type of care. Often used in tandem with other treatments, receiving care from a licensed physical therapist can boost up your recovery—not only helping you heal faster, but ensuring you have a long lasting recovery.
Physical therapy can also offer patients quick relief from pain, better overall joint mobility, and even better athletic performance for when you’re back on your feet. As a non-invasive and holistic approach to treatment, physical therapy is definitely safe.
Still not sure? Just ask the millions of individuals who have undertaken this type of treatment. Physical therapy can help you avoid surgery and prescription medication and get you back to the life you love.