If you have difficulty moving because of accident or illness, you may be referred to a physical therapist in West Bloomfield, MI. Physical therapists use different treatments to help decrease pain and improve mobility in patients. Even if your pain or mobility issues are relatively mild, there are treatments that can drastically reduce your pain and mobility problems to help increase your quality of life. Here are a few of the treatments a physical therapist may provide.
One of the most common treatments provided is exercise. This may require you to perform active exercise movements, which means you will do the exercises with your own power. Exercises may include leg raises, weight lifting, or moving on a treadmill. In addition, exercise therapy may be done in a pool to decrease the impact on the body.
Alternatively, you may receive passive exercise treatments. This requires the therapist to apply stress to the area of the body receiving therapy while you relax. A common passive exercise technique is for the therapist to lift the leg and stretch out the hamstring muscle on the back of the thigh. These exercises may be performed in a clinic, a rehab center, or the hospital. You may also be given a routine of exercises to regularly complete at home.
The term “manual” basically just means that the hands are used, rather than any machines. Manual therapy often includes massage. Massage is used to help relax the muscles and improve the circulation so that pain in the soft tissues is reduced. In addition to massage, mobilization might be successful in loosening tight tissues around the joints. These movements pull, push, or twist the bones and joints into place with slow movements. Manipulation is a more aggressive treatment because it uses quick and forceful movements to move the joints and bones into place.
Electrical stimulation may be used to help the muscles contract. The electrical pulses are delivered through electrodes that are placed on the body. This is often used after an injury to help the muscles relearn how to work properly. It may also be used to help decrease pain around injured tissue.
Ultrasound therapy may be used to treat tendonitis and sprains. High-pitched sound waves are sent through a wand-like device to help warm and relax the muscles. It may also help to relieve pain and inflammation.
Heat and Cold
Cold is also effective at reducing and controlling inflammation and decreasing pain. Ice is usually most effective when used directly following an injury. The ice packs are usually placed on the injured area for fifteen to twenty minutes, perhaps several times a day.
Heat therapy is effective at relaxing the muscles by increasing blood circulation. This increased circulation allows more nutrients to circulate to the muscles and soft tissues so that they will heal. Heat therapy is often used after cold therapy has helped to reduce swelling.
Hydrotherapy may also be used by a physical therapist in West Bloomfield, MI, because the water’s buoyancy reduces the weight on affected joints and muscles. This helps reduce pain, relax the muscles, and increase blood flow. This type of therapy may include whirlpools, regular pools, and hot tubs.