Physical Therapy: 3 Methods You May Not Have Heard Of

Physical therapists have a certain knack for assessing your body and helping it get back to where it can perform at optimal levels after bruises, breaks and even bursitis. Physical therapists have cutting-edge technology and a significant background of not only knowledge but experience as well to help diagnose and treat various ailments and disorders. Rather than essentially heading to your physical therapist with a blindfold on, become familiar with some of the most effective physical therapy treatment methods for a variety of issues.

1. Ultrasound – Connective Tissue Injuries

An ultrasound utilizes sound waves that cannot be heard by the human ear in order to produce heat within your body. This helps to loosen up tissues prior to exercise or manual therapy. A wand is typically used by your physical therapist to directly apply the sound waves to your skin. Research shows that this method of treatment has been effective in rats by increasing the healing speed of ligaments.

2. Traction – Disc Herniation

Your spine is constantly bearing your body's weight, which makes it hard to recover from any type of back pain. However, traction is a treatment method that works to separate the vertebrae so that there is more space for the spinal nerves, which leads to less compression for disc cartilage. Some research suggests that traction is effective in improving mobility, decreasing sleep disturbances, and reducing pain in individuals who are suffering from a herniated lumbar disc.

3. Electrical Stimulation – Muscle Strength Restoration

Electrical stimulation is a well-known treatment after a traumatic injury. It helps to restore functions of your muscles. It really is electric, and a small electrical wave is applied to a certain area of your body to cause a contraction of dormant muscles. One study was conducted on the impact of electrical stimulation on the strength of the quadriceps muscle following a total knee arthroplasty. The results showed that it was very effective in improving functional performance and muscle strength during the first month following the surgery, and the results continued throughout the rest of the year. Additional research shows that electrical stimulation may be an effective treatment method to help restore function in individuals who are suffering from paralysis on one side of their body (scientifically known as hemiplegic).

Usually, you'll need to consult with your primary care physician in order to receive a referral to see a professional physical therapist, like those at Park Avenue Trauma Associates. Regardless of the type of doctor, as soon as you experience aches and pains that you feel aren't quite normal, you need to make an appointment. The sooner you get yourself checked out, the sooner you can undergo the appropriate treatment and get back to your old self.