Physical therapy is a type of healthcare that helps restore and maintain normal function. It is used in hospitals, private offices, home health agencies, nursing homes, schools, sports centers, and workplaces.
Physical therapists are NC Center For Physical Therapy trained to evaluate the movement patterns and musculature of patients, which they use to tailor treatment plans. The treatment plan includes hands-on treatments, manual or exercise therapy, treatment modalities to manage pain, and support for the patient’s psychological well-being as they work through their recovery journey.
1. Range of motion
A healthy range of motion is important for your body’s functional mobility. Without it, your joints and supporting ligaments, tendons, and muscles can’t move properly. Optimal mobility allows your torso and limbs to function efficiently, reduces your risk of injury, and helps you enjoy a higher quality of life.
During physical therapy, your therapist will assess your joint range of motion using a goniometer instrument. Your therapist will then determine if you have a deficit in your ROM and what treatment is needed to help improve it.
There are three types of range of motion exercises that can be performed to increase your ROM. These are passive (PROM), active range of motion (AROM), and active-assistive range of motion (AAROM). Passive ROM involves no movement at all, while AAROM and AROM use the muscles around a weak joint to complete stretching exercises with the assistance of a physical therapist or other equipment.
Strengthening is a type of exercise NC Center For PT that makes your muscles work harder than they normally do. It’s often used in physical therapy to build muscle strength and improve overall health and well-being.
Whether you have an injury, disease or are simply looking to be more active, physical therapists offer exercises that can help you get started and keep your muscles strong. These exercises may include using your own body weight, resistance or light weights and should be done as part of a balanced exercise program to support your overall health and strength.
The exercises are designed to challenge your muscles and increase your strength, so you’ll feel stronger, faster and more comfortable. They can also help you stay healthy and maintain a good level of mobility.
These strength and flexibility exercises are meant to be done slowly, controlled and with good form to reduce your risk of injury. Always breathe through them and use a count of 1-2 when doing them to help you complete the motions.
Flexibility is the ability to stretch and move a joint or muscle through its full range of motion without pain. It is important for all physical activities, including exercise, fitness and playing sports.
Increasing flexibility helps prevent injuries and reduces the risk of poor joint health. It can also help prevent fatigue and muscle stiffness.
In physical therapy, the therapist works with a patient to develop a plan for stretching exercises that target the problem areas. They may also use foam rolling, dynamic stretching or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) to increase a person’s range of motion.
Foam rolling uses a large ball or roller to apply pressure along the length of the tight muscles, which encourages them to relax and return to their normal length. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, moves a body part through its full range of motion while the therapist guides the movement.
While flexibility can be improved by exercising and stretching on your own, it is important to receive an evaluation from a physical therapist or physician if your mobility is limited and traditional stretching is not helping. This could be due to a number of factors such as arthritis, injuries or muscle imbalances and weakness.
Balance is the ability to remain steady when you are standing up. It’s a natural skill for humans, but it can become challenging with age and illness.
Balance problems often begin with a feeling of unsteadiness or dizziness, and they can lead to falls. Fortunately, physical therapists have a lot of experience with balance.
They can help determine the cause of your balance issues, which can include muscle weakness, inner ear disorders, poor reaction times or other factors. They can also teach you techniques to improve your balance, including how to move your body to maintain posture and control your movements.
Physical therapists often use a range of exercises to improve balance and stability. They use both active-assistance and passive Physical Therapy Clinic range-of-motion exercises, which are done gently to avoid injury. They may also recommend ambulation exercises, which are walking (or “walking with aid”) exercises that can improve balance and decrease fall risk. They can also adjust your exercises to your lifestyle, including diet and sleep habits.