Does Physical Therapy Really Work? When to know when you need to go!
So, Does Physical Therapy Work? And When Do You Need to Go?
From the moment we’re able to walk–even crawl–it seems the world is conspiring against us to break our bodies down. In fact, even leaving the womb, we can experience substantial physical trauma.
Really, life might as well be one laundry list of injuries, aches, and pains.
You could attempt to lead a sedentary life to avoid getting hurt. But then you leave yourself open to the many pitfalls of being inactive (which include the breakdown of your musculoskeletal system and posture).
As such, most of us should lead active lifestyles with lots of exercise and movement. Just ask your local physician and literally every other health expert out there.
Then ask yourself what happens when you fill your life with lots of rigorous physical exertion–tweaks, sprains, breaks…even tears. Suppose it’s not something acute and immediate. In that case, the wear and tear on your muscles, nerves, cartilage, and bones are likely to leave you reeling.
That fact is, pain and injuries–whether minor, major, acute, chronic–go hand in hand with living. You could work a sedentary office job and avoid exercise like the plague. Or, you might play multiple sports and do every workout imaginable while working as a lumberjack. Most likely is your landing somewhere in between. Regardless, at some point, bodily distress–in some shape or form–is in your past, present, or future.
So. How do you combat this harsh reality?
While some people ‘get by’ when they choose to live with the pain, discomfort, or dysfunction, it’s definitely not ideal. In other instances, opting to not rectify injuries is simply not an option if you plan to work, walk, or really exist in the world.
Some methods can help recover from and prevent severe injuries: acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, etc.
But all those methods work best in conjunction with other treatments, such as physical therapy (PT) whenever necessary.
Now, we’ve heard the question thousands of times, “does physical therapy work?” And we answer “yes.” Because it’s tried and true as a form of treatment to heal from and prevent injuries.
However, if you need physical therapy in New York, you should know that–while it does work–PT isn’t a cure-all. You must ensure it’s being used in the appropriate scenarios to improve your overall quality of life.
Below we’ll answer the question, “does physical therapy work?” but also examine the best times to use it and other aspects of this versatile treatment approach.
Don’t feel like reading any further? Then contact Performax today if you’d prefer to speak directly with experts to determine “does physical therapy work?” specifically for your needs. We’d love to answer your questions about physical therapy in New York and help you toward feeling your best self.
Thinking About PT in New York? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Any form of treatment or therapy shouldn’t be jumped into head-first without a second thought.
So, when asking yourself (and asking Google or your resident medical expert), “does physical therapy work?” it’s a question that should be posed with the utmost scrutiny. First and foremost, it’s your body, and you need to be proactive in how you–and others–treat it. For sure, a doctor’s recommendation is likely a good sign that a treatment is for you. But taking your health into your own hands means looking into therapies like PT in New York and speaking to experts in those disciplines to find if it can work for you.
You don’t want to be a passenger in your own body, where only other people dictate how you handle bodily traumas, lack of strength, and mobility.
Being careful, considered, and actively involved in determining whether physical therapy in New York is your best option will always win the day.
With that said, here are some essentials you should know before deciding your own answer to “does physical therapy work?”
What is Physical Therapy?
With physical therapy, a therapist will first assess your condition. From there, they craft a treatment plan that maps out your therapy.
A therapist’s approach typically consists of hands-on treatments for symptoms. This work is done in harmony with the therapist’s customized exercises they’ve taught you that help you move and function better. These are done based on your body’s specific capabilities and limitations, depending on factors such as age, current physical state, and level of mobility.
Qualifications of Your PT in New York
When determining, “does physical therapy work?” you’ll find the answer will most likely be “yes” by finding the right person to provide treatment.
First and foremost, if you want your physical therapy to work, you must work alongside a licensed health professional. This person will have participated in rigorous graduate training in PT and have the official designation of ‘physical therapist’ (or potentially ‘physiotherapist’).
As of 2016, your PT in New York must possess a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited higher education institution. That’s the only way to be eligible for the national certification test. Beyond that, your hypothetical PT must also successfully complete a state exam.
Does Your Physical Therapy in New York Need to Be Prescribed by a Doctor?
You can cut out the middle man, take matters into your own hands, and go directly to a physical therapist.
To the above point, in some instances, you might have a hunch that PT in New York is your only option. If that sounds like you, give us a call right now, and we’d be happy to chat about whether you’re an ideal candidate for our physical therapy in New York.
Additionally, the answer to “does physical therapy work?” is frequently “yes” when you get a referral from your doctor. Why? Because physical therapists are highly skilled, vastly knowledgable healthcare providers that do their best work alongside other practitioners in different fields. The more medical history your PT has, the more nuanced and specific your treatments plans and exercises can be.
All the same, you might still want to cut out the middle man and visit a PT in New York directly. While this proactive approach is commendable–and even suggestable in many scenarios–some insurance policies don’t cover your costs for PT in New York without a prescription. So, a doctor’s visit might be necessary to receive the care at the most affordable rate.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for PT in New York?
We’re always asked, “do physical therapists actually help?” and “does physical therapy work?”
Our answer is always that indeed it does, but only for the correct candidates.
Even if you want to avoid a doctor’s visit, your first sign that you’re an ideal candidate for PT in New York is a referral from your medical physician. These healthcare professionals have the knowledge base and instincts to know when PT is your best form of treatment, whether for an injury or impeded movement.
Most frequently, PT is associated with helping people struggling to move after surgery or a more severe injury. But it’s also suggested for those suffering from arthritis, back problems, shoulder pain, cerebral palsy, osteoporosis, and spinal cord problems. Furthermore, physical therapists often work with stroke survivors.
What Are The Benefits of Working With a Physical Therapist in New York?
By working with a PT as an ideal treatment candidate, you’ll enjoy improved mobility/movement and increased strength.
A physical therapist might decrease your pain levels or prevent it altogether. They can also reverse or prevent disability.
You’ll find physical therapists in schools, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, running private practices, or in hospitals. Some will even visit your home. Regardless of where you find your PT in New York, they’ll work with you to accomplish the following:
Strengthening weak muscles that have deteriorated due to lack of use
Regaining mobility in stiff, rigid joints
Enhancing proper muscular function to reduce pain and prevent injuries
So…does physical therapy work? Will a physical therapist actually help? Well–that depends on whether you’re the ideal candidate. Talk to your doctor or give us a call if you have any questions.
What’s the Difference Between Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy?
While looking for physical therapy in New York, you might realize that it’s also referred to as physiotherapy.
The two terms are used interchangeably, and that is typically accurate. Still, there are a few differences between the two despite the many overlaps.
Specifically, physiotherapy is associated with the hands-on methodology, typically focusing on manual stretching, soft tissue release, and joint movement. Conversely, physical therapy is more centered around exercises for strength-building and improved balance.
Some PTs focus more on one than the other. If you have a preference for how you’d want to be treated, talk to your care provider and learn about their given approach. You can also give us a call and learn about the treatment approaches we offer, on top of asking us, “does physical therapy work?” No matter your PT-based question, we’d love to hear from you.
Frequently Asked Questions About PT in New York
We’re no strangers to the questions you have about our physical therapy in New York. And we’re equally familiar with providing detailed, educational answers.
So, without further adieu, here are the three main questions we hear as PT providers and the detailed answers we provide:
How Long Does it Take for Physical Therapy to Work?
The correct answer to this specific question is “it depends.” But that level of brevity is not why you’re here, so we’ll elaborate a bit further.
There will always be factors dictating the duration of your therapy, from your own healing rate to the severity of your condition or injury. While you likely want to be done with your PT sessions and take-home exercises ASAP, treatment plans aren’t one-size-fits-all and must take as much (or as little) time as they need.
That said, we can offer you a loose estimate of general treatment lengths–but again, this will only provide context, not a 100% hard-fast answer.
Injured soft tissues commonly require six to eight weeks of healing. As such, your typical PT treatment for such injuries takes about the same length.
It’s worth noting that our PT in New York functions best when you don’t set a timeline but instead design goals. This way, you’re likely to make a more pronounced recovery where you can continue with regular activities. And your PT will help you keep your eyes on the prize, no matter the duration of your recovery.
Also, despite not wanting to rush your treatments or tie your recovery to a hard-fast deadline, there comes time to move on. Namely, if you notice any of these problems developing, it might be time to stop with your PT:
Your progress is no longer improving (you’ve plateaued)
Your condition is actually getting worse
All your treatment goals have been achieved
You are pain-free
You’re back to your prior levels of activity and range of motion from before the injury, or physical problem arose
Provided you tick any combination of the above boxes, discuss your next step with your PT, and they’ll design an exercise program to help maintain your improvements.
On the other hand, your physical therapy in New York might only be able to last as long as your insurance allows. In the instance that you haven’t fully recovered when that time comes, there’s usually room for alternative payments. Or, you might be able to haggle with the insurance company.
Have any questions about the costs of physical therapy in New York? Give us a ring, we’d be glad to go over our rates and other payment details.
Can Physical Therapy Make Things Worse?
This particular question often gets paired with “does physical therapy work?”
When applied incorrectly–yes– physical therapy can make things worse. But only during specific situations such as what’s listed below:
Relying Too Much on Heat Treatments
Heat treatments (e.g., hot packs, deep heat machines) help muscles relax, but they don’t provide lasting benefits.
Since heat treatments don’t involve movement, they encourage patients to remain inactive. This can worsen various problems, leading to otherwise unneeded medical procedures (e.g., knee surgery, steroid injections).
Not Properly Designing Strength Training Programs for Older Patients
While the correct strength training program can help elderly patients prevent falls, there’s a need to proceed with caution. Hospitalizations, inactivity, and surgery leave such patients susceptible to injuries during exercises.
However, therapists might make a program too easy for elderly patients for fear of further injury. This mistake is damaging because the exercises won’t accomplish anything. And it leaves older patients with a false sense of their own capabilities when walking, balancing, rising from a chair, etc., leaving them at further risk of falls.
Suggesting Bed Rest for Blood Clots
A physical therapist might be afraid to urge older adults to remain active after they’ve experienced blood clots. But studies actually indicate that bed rest doesn’t help prevent adverse outcomes from blood clots (e.g., pulmonary embolisms). In fact, getting up and walking around will help patients feel better while relieving pain and swelling.
A PT failing to discourage bed rest leaves their patient vulnerable to increased clot size and heightened risk of complications (e.g., pneumonia).
Using Continuous Passive Motion Machines for Knee Replacements
A continuous passive motion machine (CPM) is suggested by surgeons to knee surgery patients to keep the knee moving for several hours a day while they’re in bed.
Physical therapists teach their patients how to use the machine. However, the CPM doesn’t improve pain, bend, or straighten your knee, nor does it get patients to return to normal activities.
Like the heat pad, the CPM actually encourages inactivity and keeps patients in bed longer, hampering their recovery over the long haul.
Does physical therapy work? Yes.
But how is PT effective?
That’s a fair enough question we’re more than prepared to answer as your go-to PT in New York.
Physical therapy is one of the most well-rounded treatments out there. By that statement, we mean it can apply to so many different kinds of patients.
In one sense, it can help improve the quality of life of elderly patients who just want to get around and enjoy their golden years. It can also enhance mobility and heal the injuries of high-performing athletes who need to be at their peak. At the same time, it’s proven to assist everyday working people in getting “back to normal” after dealing with a chronic pain/range of motion problem or acute injuries.
You can contact us to find this out on your own. But we’ll say it here, too: physical therapy is effective because the treatments are personalized. Our therapists are experts of your body and pinpoint what you need to meet your goals, reduce your pain, and increase your range of motion. They also know what treatments to avoid and have the knowledge, integrity, and expertise to let someone know if PT is not for them.
Provided you’re looking for the best PT in New York, and we’ve convinced you the answer is “yes” to the question, “does physical therapy work?”, then give us a call. We’d love to hear from you!