As you age, your body changes. You may experience illness, injury, or general wear and tear of muscles, bones, ligaments, and more. But physical health and well-being are essential whether you’re 10, 30, or 65.
Maintaining your physical health correlates directly with your mental health as well. Science shows that if you are more physically active, your serotonin levels increase, and, as a result, you’ll generally be happier and experience less stress.
Similarly, leading a healthy lifestyle and making wellness a priority can have a positive effect on comprehensive wellness.
But what if you face injury, illness, or other physical health problems? How do you return to your previous level of functioning and induce positive lifestyle changes? You’re on a journey to figure out how to feel better, but you’re not sure how.
At the first sign of a problem, many primary care physicians will refer their patients to a physical therapist. As a conservative approach to maintaining and improving your overall health and wellness, physical therapy can provide an array of solutions customized to your specific needs and goals.
Physical Therapy Basics
Physical therapy is a form of medical treatment that is used to restore the functional movement of different body parts. As both a corrective and preventative medical treatment, physical therapy can be used as a solution for illness, injury, and other conditions.
Physical therapy can also improve wellness and performance by implementing techniques to enhance mobility, strength, and function. The best treatment plans are designed with more than just basic movements in mind.
The job of a physical therapist is to design a unique plan tailored to each individual based on several factors like overall physical condition, diet, sleep, and daily routine. As these factors change, your physical therapist should be able to change your wellness plan.
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Health and Wellness
The goal of physical therapy is to improve overall health and well-being by improving your movement. Several health benefits are evident with the right physical therapy plan.
Decreasing the Risk of Disease
Physical therapy is a component of cardiac rehabilitation, providing opportunities for building a defense against both heart disease and lung disease.
While addressing concerns for future cardiac wellness, your physical therapist will design a plan focused on pulmonary improvements via strengthening, breathing, and conditioning exercises. This can also help clear fluid from the lungs.
With age comes the general wear and tear of the body. From the potential for a weakened immune system to joint issues such as arthritis, your body faces an increased risk of injury and illness as you age.
Trained in helping their patients manage age-related health and wellness issues, a physical therapist can help you manage and recover from issues such as arthritis and osteoporosis. This will help to improve your body’s movement and function if done consistently.
Consider what would happen if you had an injury. You’re likely to protect the location of the injury at all costs until you know it has healed. This may involve bracing or immobilizing for a certain period of time, causing your mobility to change.
Likewise, as your body ages or goes through changes in daily activity, your mobility capabilities may shift. A physical therapist will work with you to improve your range of mobility.
From stretching and strengthening muscles to increasing flexibility and resistance, your physical therapist will design a unique plan to enhance your range of motion so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. This must be done with extra care, however, as maximal mobility performance can only be achieved over time and with the highest safety involved to prevent further injury.
Reducing and Eliminating Pain
Lingering injury or surgical pain can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. The goal behind physical therapy in a post-injury or surgical context is to relieve your pain and keep it from coming back. Whether it is post-shoulder surgery, back pain, or knee pain, your physical therapist will customize a recovery plan to get your pain levels in check.
Therapy techniques such as soft tissue mobilization, electric stimulation, and targeted exercises can help relieve pain, restore muscle function, and provide replenished joint mobility as well.
Improving Mental and Comprehensive Wellness
A physical therapist knows the importance of physical health is directly tied to mental health. If you are struggling physically, it can increase stress, anxiety, and fatigue, among other factors. As your physical health and activity decrease, your serotonin levels decrease, which may lead to a decline in your mental wellness.
When you go through physical therapy, you develop a connection with your physical therapist that improves the quality of the physical therapy treatment itself. The emotional bond formed between therapist and patient can help reduce stress and anxiety through the recovery or strengthening process. With a stronger mindset generally comes a more positive recovery experience.
Wellness and Injury Prevention With Inspire Physical Therapy
Trying to stay healthy and fit but hitting roadblocks due to injury, illness, or chronic pain? Our team of physical therapists is here to help get you back to a pain-free and active lifestyle.
At Inspire Physical Therapy, we help everyone from active adults and athletes to busy professionals and new moms. Offering a customized one-on-one for a full hour with your doctor each visit and knowing the demands of your busy life, we treat the body as a whole and know that one specific injury or pain point might not reflect the actual cause of discomfort.
Contact us to speak with a physical therapist and schedule your appointment today.