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Benefits of physical therapy

Many benefits are available to the public through the widening scope of physical therapy. The profession addresses orthopedic, neurological and cardiopulmonary problems among infants, children, adults and geriatric populations.

Many physical therapists consult in private practice and we treat a wide array of conditions. Orthopedic cases (this includes sports injuries, fractures, spinal pain and headaches to name a few) are the most common types of patients we treat in a clinical setting. Physical therapy treatment may involve therapeutic exercise to improve strength, range of motion and endurance and to correct postural and muscle imbalance, joint mobilization, manipulation and soft tissue massage, as well as stretching and trigger point therapy to reduce stiffness and to relieve pain.

Patients with neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury can benefit greatly with physical therapy treatment. Interventions focus on muscle re-education and control, rehabilitation of fine and gross motor skills, improving daily function, regaining strength and flexibility, learning how to perform safe transfers, restoring and improving gait and training in the use of mobility aids.

For children suffering from cerebral palsy, physical therapy is essential in helping to reduce spasticity and deformity, improving postural control, teaching children how to use assistive devices and doing all that is necessary to maximize the child's functional independence. We will also educate the family so they can help carryover what the child has learned during therapy sessions.

Cardiopulmonary conditions respond well to physical therapy intervention. Patients who have difficulty performing their activities of daily living, or who have shortness of breath and decreased endurance, can achieve markedly improved quality of life through guided exercise and resistance training. Intervention also includes manual therapy and exercise to help clear secretions in the lungs, counseling about risk factors, patient education to prevent future recurrence and behavior modification. For those patients who have had cardiopulmonary surgery, physical therapy is initiated early to prevent the patient from losing strength and function.

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