Have you been injured in a car accident? Maybe you needed surgery or you had to wear a cast. If so, it’s likely you’re going to need physical therapy in order to improve your function.
If you’ve never visited one before, you might wonder what a physical therapist professional does. Below, we look at the physical therapy role and how it can get you moving again.
Physical Therapist Professional Defined
If you’re wondering what do physical therapists do, the answer is… a lot. They are trained professionals who help treat many problems related to physical function.
The role of a physical therapist is to identify your problem and then determine a treatment plan to reduce pain and give you greater freedom of movement.
6 Key Areas of Concentration
There are several ways in which someone in the physical therapy profession can help you resume your life. Let’s look at 6 common treatment therapies.
A serious car accident can result in extensive injuries to your limbs, back, and neck. Physical therapists are able to design a rehabilitation plan that will loosen stiff muscles, improve range of motion, and ensure that you heal and regain complete function.
2. Loosening Muscles and Joints
If you don’t use certain muscles for a period of time, they can get stiff. Sometimes, scar tissue forms over an injury or surgical area. This can also cause pain and stiffness. If you don’t go to therapy – or you don’t follow the doctor’s protocol – you risk permanent damage.
Stretching helps improve your range of motion and flexibility.
3. Strength Exercises
Your physical therapy plan will most likely include strengthening or therapeutic exercises for the specific area. These are movements that help improve the function of your muscles as well as your endurance and range of motion.
4. Core Strengthening
Your core – basically the middle of your body or your torso – is what provides mobility and strength so you can move. It’s sort of like the foundation of a house. Without a strong core, the house is in danger of collapsing.
A weak core can put you at greater risk of a fall or further injury. Core strengthening is designed to improve your balance and muscle strength to provide more stability.
5. Ice and Heat Therapy
Applying ice and heat are extremely beneficial in warming up and cooling off muscles. Heat relaxes stiff muscles and stimulates blood flow, which is essential for healing. Ice helps reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain.
6. Electrical Stimulation
With this type of treatment, an electrical current is passed through the affected area. While this might sound strange, it can be very beneficial. The current actually alters the region and the muscles where it’s applied.
It can also help increase blood flow and reduce pain.
Physical Therapy for Healing
If you’ve experienced the trauma of an injury due to a car accident, it’s time to get your life back. A physical therapist professional can help you regain normal function, reduce pain, and ensure your full recovery.
If you’re in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and you’ve received a referral for therapy, contact us to schedule a consultation. We can help you move on from your injuries.