Physical therapy is a program that selectively trains the body and increases the muscle strength around the joints. Often physical therapy is used successfully to avoid surgery and to reduce pain. Physical therapy is commonly used after surgery to reduce swelling, mobilize joints, and restore optimal function to the injured extremity.
Patients attend physical therapy anywhere from 1 to 3 times a week, and oftentimes some patients can perform the physical therapy on their own in a gym, their garage, or even their living room. Dr. Howard recommends visiting a therapist at least once to make sure the patient is performing the exercises correctly before transitioning into a home exercise program.
Often a physical therapist will use more than just exercise to restore body function and will commonly use muscle stimulators, ultrasound, or taping techniques to enhance recovery.
Physical therapists are different from chiropractors, personal trainers, or massage therapists. Physical therapists are trained in specific techniques and knowledge that other capable professionals are not experienced performing.