Most people believe that physical therapy should only be used if you need to recover from a severe injury. However, this isn’t the case. Physical therapy can be used by healthy people to ensure their musculoskeletal system stays in shape. If you’re interested in learning about whether to visit a chiropractor or physical therapist, you’ll want to check out this article. Below is more about how physical therapy works and a few ways it can improve your musculoskeletal health.
What is the Musculoskeletal System?
The musculoskeletal system is what helps keep your body stable when standing, sitting, or moving. This system is composed of your bones, muscles, tissues, cartilage, and joints. In addition to helping you move, your musculoskeletal system protects your body’s organs, stores important minerals, and increases blood flow throughout your body.
Common Issues That Plague the Musculoskeletal System
There are many issues that can ruin the health of your musculoskeletal system. Some of the most common are:
- Bone fractures
All will range in their side effects, but of the time will cause symptoms such as swelling and stiffness.
How Does Physical Therapy Work?
Physical therapy is a treatment designed to improve your body’s range of motion through non-invasive methods. A physical therapist will teach you how to adjust your body to increase strength while reducing pain and preventing future injuries.
What is Physical Therapy Used For?
Physical therapy can be used for a variety of different issues. These include:
- Pain relief
- Recovery from an injury
- Learning how to manage a chronic illness
- How to correctly use walking devices
Physical Therapy and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
If you have severe musculoskeletal problems, such as muscle or bone injuries, physical therapy will incorporate various techniques to help improve your musculoskeletal health and reduce painful side effects. While a physical therapist will usually conduct the session themselves, some might also have a chiropractor, dietitian, or neurologist on hand to help.
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5 Ways Physical Therapy Can Improve Musculoskeletal Health
It Improves Your Flexibility
One of the main ways physical therapy can improve your musculoskeletal health is by increasing your flexibility. If your musculoskeletal system isn’t able to move correctly, you’re more susceptible to injuries. Physical therapy will teach you how to build endurance in your body by improving your flexibility. Physical therapists will usually show you helpful stretches that increase muscle fibers and encourage your bones to stay strong.
It Can Prevent Injuries
Physical therapists will show you helpful stretches and exercises that build up muscle and core strength. This will encourage your body to be more robust and not become easily injured. Physical therapy will also help you to teach your body how to improve its balance, something which can significantly reduce injuries.
Some stretches that are usually recommended for this include:
- Forward lunges
- Thigh stretches
- Knee-to-chest stretches
Stretching will help to increase blood flow throughout your musculoskeletal system which ensures it receives enough oxygen. By warming them up, your muscles will be prepared to move, something which greatly prevents injuries.
It Teaches You How to Deal with Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be difficult to deal with. While you might take medications to help mask it, they don’t always help and often come with serious side effects. Physical therapy teaches you helpful ways as to how you can deal with the pain. A physical therapist will show you stretches and exercises you can use at home to help relieve it.
Besides this, physical therapists will sometimes incorporate massage into your session. Massages have been shown to help decrease pain because it reduces inflammation and encourages the release of serotonin and endorphins. Depending on your needs, they will choose the massage type they feel will best suit you.
One of the commonly used is soft tissue massage. This massage includes gentle gliding and kneading motions to provide relief. Some might also use deep friction movements that are designed to stop swelling and muscle spasms.
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It Encourages Independence
If your musculoskeletal system is in poor condition it can weaken your body. This can make it difficult for you to walk on your own or even live independently. Physical therapy works to teach your body how to handle certain situations so you can feel safe being independent again. By consistently attending physical therapy sessions, your body will slowly start to build itself up so you’re to move without falling or with pain.
It Helps with Recovery
For those who have already suffered from musculoskeletal problems, like carpal tunnel syndrome or rotator cuff tendonitis, physical therapy can aid in your recovery. With the use of stretches and exercises, your body will slowly start to restore itself. This can encourage the injury to heal faster.
A physical therapist will also give tips as to how you can keep moving safely at home. A handful might also suggest supplements and dietary changes to keep your body strong and active.
Physical therapy can improve musculoskeletal health in numerous ways, such as by preventing injuries and improving your flexibility. All of these combine together to ensure that your body stays strong so you can continue to live your life without problems.
“Dr. Brent Wells founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He is currently leading 10,000 Alaskans to more active and pain-free lifestyles without drugs or invasive surgeries. He brings a progressive and highly innovative approach to chiropractic care. Dr. Wells continues to further his education with ongoing studies in spine conditions, neurology, physical rehabilitation, biomechanics, occupational ergonomics, whiplash, and brain injury traumatology. He is also a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.”