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Posted on 09-17-2012
Welcome to our continuation of common disorders treated by Physical Therapy!
Treatment by a physical therapist may be prescribed by the referring physician and/or a plan the PT develops following a comprehensive assessment of the patient's condition. Therapies are described as passive or active. Passive therapies do not require the patient's participation, active therapies do
The goals of physical therapy include reducing inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and increasing flexibility (range of motion), strength, and mobility. Postural correction, ergonomics (proper body mechanics), and prevention are key to all physical therapy programs.
Passive therapies include heat and ice, joint mobilization, manipulation, massage, myofascial release, spinal traction, transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), and ultrasound.
Active therapies include stretching, strengthening, and aerobic (cardiovascular) training. Therapeutic exercise may be performed in a swimming pool (anti-gravity environment) to make stretching and strength building easier for patients who find weight-bearing exercise difficult.
Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist to help you relieve your sciatica and restore movement. Physical therapy includes both passive and active treatments. Passive treatments help to relax you and your body. They also prepare your body for therapeutic exercise, which is the active part of physical therapy.
Your physical therapist may give you passive treatments such as:
In the active part of physical therapy, your therapist will teach you various exercises. Your physical therapy program is individualized, taking into consideration your health and history. It may include aerobic conditioning, strengthening exercises, and movements to increase flexibility and range of motion.
If needed, you will learn how to correct your posture and incorporate ergonomic principles into your daily activities.
Physical therapy often takes a hands-on approach, which may make you cringe if you're experiencing pain from multiple hypersensitive tender points. However, physical therapy uses methods that are gentle, effective, and will most likely play a major role in managing your fibromyalgia symptoms.
There are a variety of physical therapy techniques. Passive treatments relax your body and include deep tissue massage, heat therapy, hydrotherapy, electric muscle stimulation, and ultrasound.
Your physical therapy program will usually begin with passive treatments. When you feel ready, you will start active treatments that strengthen your body and prevent further fibromyalgia pain. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a plan that best suits you.
Active treatments help address core stability, flexibility, strength, and joint movement. An exercise program may also be prescribed to achieve optimal results. This will not only curb recurrent pain but will also benefit your overall health. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a program based on your specific symptoms and health history.
Active treatments include:
Your physical therapist will teach you self-care principles so you understand how to best treat your symptoms. The ultimate goal is for you to develop the knowledge to help control your symptoms. It's essential that you learn the exercises and continue them after the formal therapy ends. If you fail to keep with a fitness regimen, you won't enjoy long-term results from your physical therapy. By taking care of your back on your own, you'll reduce further fibromyalgia pain.
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