Physical therapy involves the interaction between physical therapist, patients/clients, other health care professionals, families, care givers, and communities in a process where movement likely is assessed and diagnosed and goals are agreed upon. Physical therapy is a traditional treatment methodology aimed at the treatment and curing of certain ailments, and preventing the chances of reoccurrence of the same at a later point of time. Its primary aim is to bring the patient back to his/her normal self, free of any pain or sufferings, so that he/she could then onwards lead a normal life by performing all the daily activities with minimal or no difficulty. Physical therapy deals with cardiopulmonary and neurological conditions as well.
Physical therapy is generally required for those with permanent disabilities, those who have had a major injury or accident and is in a recuperating phase, or for those who are suffering from crippling diseases like arthritis, low back pain, or cerebral palsy. In certain cases, some diseases or medical conditions impair the patient so much that it becomes necessary to teach the patient to function optimally in the limitations of the condition, by building on the residual capabilities left in the patient. Physical therapy is effective in such circumstances as well, and with prolonged treatment under the supervision of an expert physiatrist, it is possible for the patient to regain a major share of the mobility of his/her joints, achieve flexibility, and acquire better balance and coordination as far as his/her overall self is concerned. Apart from this, physical therapy also helps in significantly improving the overall fitness and health of the patient.
Physical therapy is also very effective in aiding children to cope with issues such as developmental delays or muscle and joint weaknesses that could happen in their early years. In such cases, a physiatrist mostly depends on a variety of techniques such as strength training, balance and coordination exercises, stretching exercises, ultrasound therapies, and electrical stimulation of affected body parts alongside massage to help the child build strength to his/her physical weaknesses. But, the exact methods to be used are decided by the physiatrist after diagnosing the child.
For physical therapy to be effective, it is important that the patient also responds positively to the treatment, and for that to happen he/she needs to be in a positive frame of mind and not in a saddened or dull mindset. Hence, these days, physical therapy also includes efforts to motivate the patient to make sure that he/she indeed remains in a positive mindset all throughout the session.
Finally, for receiving the full benefits of physical therapy, it is important that the patient follows the instructions of the physiatrist religiously. In many cases, people tend to think that they know the exercises well enough after some time and hence they could do the rehabilitation quite effectively without any external help. But, such acts generally cause more damage to the existing injury than providing any real benefits. Physical therapy needs time to cure and equally important is the fact that the patient has to undergo the treatment in the perfect way possible always. A physiatrist who monitors the progress could correct if there is any error in the posturing or practice, and he/she periodically redesigns the exercise programs accordingly as the patient gets better or improves in health and strength. None of this would be possible if the patient tries to manage the rehabilitation program himself. Remember, the final result or complete recovery through physical therapy is a combination of diligence, compliance, and dedication, and that requires continued interaction and coordination between the patient and the physiatrist.
To sum it up, physical therapy is hugely effective in treating injured joints, bones, muscle weaknesses, and many neurological ailments. But, it must be done in the proper way, under the supervision of an able physiatrist. If not, it will not produce the desired results nor would the patient recover early either.