Physical therapy is an increasingly popular treatment for pain relief and management. Orthopaedic doctors also use various forms of physical therapy to treat injuries to the musculoskeletal system. These can affect the bones or soft tissues, and may happen as a result of accidents, sports and other injuries, and chronic conditions like arthritis. They cause pain and limit functional mobility, affecting the patient’s quality of life. Physical therapy can help reduce pain and restore mobility, without invasive surgical procedures.
What is orthopedic physical therapy?
Orthopaedic doctors use physical therapy in a number of different ways, for pain relief and management and to restore functional mobility that has been lost due to injuries or chronic conditions. Orthopedic physical therapy treatment focuses on the musculoskeletal system, which consists of the joints, muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons. It involves treatment and physical rehabilitation for injuries like fractures, muscle and ligament sprains, post-surgery recovery and chronic conditions like tendonitis and arthritis.
Physical therapists can be quite specialized, and focus on a particular area such as recovery after knee or hip replacement surgery, or sports injury prevention and treatment. Orthopedic physical therapy also represents a new strategy in providing effective healthcare for an aging population. As a non surgical and noninvasive strategy for better health, it is suited to the healthcare needs of this population.
Health care for an aging population
As the American population ages, the healthcare needs of older adults are changing too. The number of older adults over the age of 65 years will double from 46 million in 2016 to over 98 million by 2060. The emphasis is on treatment of chronic conditions, recovery from hip or knee replacement surgery, and overall wellness. Orthopaedic doctors and physical therapy play an important role in all of these strategies.
Physical therapy used as a complementary or alternative to conventional medical treatments is both effective and less costly. The journal Health Services Research recently published a study showing that the costs of treatment are 72% less in cases where physical therapy is the first management strategy. Physical therapy can also promote overall health and wellness for seniors through pain management and restoring functional mobility.
What do orthopaedic doctors do?
Orthopedic physical therapy uses an number of modalities for treatment. These can range from therapeutic and diagnostic strategies like heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Assistive devices like walkers and canes and orthotics and prosthetics support patents in their daily lives and routines. Oethopaedic doctors may use exercise tools and equipment to help patients move more easily and freely.
Exercises can be designed for specific goals, like strengthening, stretching and flexibility, balance, endurance, and functional mobility. These exercises have wide applicability, from sports training to post-surgery recovery. They can also be made part of a home exercise routine.
Orthopaedic doctors use physical therapy in a wide range of cases to treat injuries and conditions pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. Physical therapy can be used as a complementary or alternative treatment for everything from sports injuries to pain relief and management in chronic conditions. It is especially useful in devising effective strategies for senior healthcare.