Physical therapy is not a static field of medicine. Few medical fields are truly static, but when it comes to improving a patient’s range of motion, ability to work, or ability to perform simple physical functions, physical therapists are one group of medical practitioners that is not afraid to use new technologies and new ways of thinking to help their patients. Here are some of the ways the physical therapy field is changing:
Limited Use of Assistive Devices
Devices like canes, braces, crutches, and special footwear can still be important when totally necessary, but modern physical therapy moves past these devices, considering them mental roadblocks to wellness. Areas of weakness need to be incorporated in the total range of motion, and therapists now understand that keeping the injured area still only makes it weaker.
Focus on Returning to Regular Activity
This means you may not need to return to a full range of motion in order to enjoy regular activity. Focusing more on how to use joints better through smaller activities like combing hair or brushing teeth will lead to walking, climbing stairs, or lifting and carrying things.
Staying Active Means Regaining What Was Lost
In the past, a doctor’s advice after an injury was bed rest and a break from regular activity. But recent research has reversed that idea. Staying active during recovery can lead to faster recovery and a quicker return to regular activity. This means a shorter rest period after the surgery or injury and an almost immediate regimen of physical therapy. The point is to rebuild general strength, which will lead to healing injured areas quicker.