When To Seek Orthopedic Physical Therapy

You rarely put much thought into what allows you to move your body until issues arise. Maybe you've developed carpal tunnel from too much time at your computer at work, or tennis elbow from over-exerting yourself during physical activity. 

All of these movements rely on the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments in your body, and the onset of symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness that lead to limited range of motion or pain associated with movement can seriously impact your life. If you are encountering any of these issues, it may be time to get your life back with orthopedic physical therapy

Orthopedic doctors specialize in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions through therapies, assistive devices, exercise routines, and in some cases, surgery. A great first step to finding an orthopedic doctor is to consult your general practitioner for a referral. It may also be a good idea to search online for doctors in your area that specialize in the specific condition you are suffering from.

What to Expect From Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Physical therapy may be used as a non-invasive treatment path or as a post-operative rehabilitation process to help ensure the success of orthopedic surgery. Ultimately, it is up to your doctor to determine the best use of these techniques in the treatment of your condition. Regardless of its role, you can expect much of the same from either implementation.

Physical therapy as a non-invasive option is often used to treat minor injuries or conditions in order to avoid surgery. This will often include stretching and/or strengthening exercise routines, assistive devices such as canes, slings, or braces, and treatment options such as heat, ice, or other orthopedic treatments. When followed closely, these devices, treatments, and exercises are often all that you will need in order to manage and resolve any minor issues you may be facing. 

Physical therapy before and after surgery when surgery cannot be avoided are equally as effective and will include many of the same aspects. These should both be taken just as seriously, as they will dictate the effectiveness of the surgery and the subsequent recovery.

While it can be daunting to commit to rehabilitation routines and potentially even surgery, the benefits of orthopedic surgery and orthopedic physical therapy can be invaluable. With the right doctor and the right treatment plan, you can manage painful chronic illnesses like arthritis, repair sports or work-place injuries, and reclaim the active life you had before your injury!