Life in motion
From the very start of life, we continuously learn and experience new and wonderful things. Learning new skills and doing activities we enjoy adds excitement to life, but often with increased activity comes injury. When pain begins to impact your quality of life, it’s hard to know what to do. Sometimes, just getting out of bed can lead to thoughts and worries of, “What will the day bring? Can I actually continue to do the things I love?” Activities may feel less pleasurable because of the fear of pain.
Typically, this worry produces one of two outcomes; people either accept a change in their activities or they seek medical care.
Incredibly, our bodies and brains often adapt, or even compensate, in order to complete physical tasks when injured. These changes in movements may be helpful for a period of time, but continued long-term compensation can produce a web of complications. Resolving pain takes time. Eventually, left untreated, these over-compensated movement patterns may result in problems exacerbated by the “wear-and-tear” damage the body has endured over months of abuse.
Many professional care options available focus on symptom reduction and the anatomical cause. These treatments can help the body heal, but will not likely improve movement. We now know that passive treatments like ice, ultrasound, prescriptions and injections can alleviate symptoms temporarily, but pain may return at some point if the movement issues are not addressed.
When an injury is detected, a specialized treatment plan should be designed to enhance the body’s ability to move better, reduce pain, and improve function in the long run.
That’s where physical therapy comes in. Physical therapists focus on how the body moves and functions. They are uniquely trained to improve mobility through a variety of hands-on techniques and specific dynamic exercises, which must be performed as naturally as possible to maximize the benefits.
Physical therapy decreases pain and improves strength, endurance, balance and range of motion, all which can be incorporated into functional activities for continued improvement. Working with patients to enhance coordination and fine motor activities, therapists help people to take back their lives while easing the frustration that comes with an inability to do the things they love.
If pain is currently taking away your enjoyment of life, consider the benefits of consulting a physical therapist.