There’s a common misconception that physical therapy is only for those who are recovering from a serious injury or have just had surgery. While it is often a must for anyone in that situation, many other people can benefit too. In fact, physical therapists can be integral to good health and enjoying a quality lifestyle.

A physical therapist can help you regain movement and manage pain after an injury or illness to aid in recovery, but they can also be beneficial to people of all ages for a wide range of conditions. Fortunately, physical therapy in Avoca, PA, is just as readily available as it is in Pittsburgh and even most small towns throughout the country, with nearly a quarter-million physical therapists working in the U.S.

While just about everyone can benefit from physical therapy, it can be especially helpful in the following situations.

Seniors

Physical therapy can be a big benefit to seniors who develop conditions affecting physical function and mobility, such as arthritis, incontinence, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help improve general health and mobility while allowing those who are older to retain their independence. Certain exercises may be prescribed to help safely challenge balance to improve coordination and strength, or even conditions like vertigo, which can be key to preventing falls, something that’s extremely common as one gets older. 

Physical therapists also provide education to show various ways to complete normal daily tasks in the most efficient way, improving mental and physical well-being.

Those Who Want to Avoid Surgery

While not all surgeries can be avoided, of course, physical therapy can be an excellent alternative in many cases. For example, back pain can have a dramatic negative effect on the quality of life. Physical therapy is often highly effective as a non-surgical option – it may even help heal the pain permanently by utilizing specialized equipment that stretches the muscles, reduces inflammation, and improves mobility.

Anyone Hoping to Relieve Pain Without the Use of Addictive Drugs

The goal of physical therapy is often to reduce or eliminate pain, which reduces or eliminates the need for pain medications like opioids, which can severely affect a person’s quality of life. Those drugs are not only highly addictive, but they come with many side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. When taken for more than a short period of time, they come with a high risk for depression, overdose, and suffering from horrific withdrawal symptoms when they’re stopped.

A therapist may use manual therapy to relieve everything from low back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome through manipulation, dry needling, soft tissue and joint mobilizations, and other strategies. Depending on your situation, they may prescribe specific exercises that can help ease pain over the long-term as well. 

Athletes

High-level athletes, including the pros, often rely on physical therapy to help identify imbalances and weaknesses. This allows one to work on improving flexibility and strength in those particular areas, which, in turn, can improve performance. Physical therapy can also help prevent injuries, avoid stress fractures, strained muscles, and other issues that can interfere with training and competition.

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