Physical therapy (PT) is an area of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. It involves the use of exercises, stretching techniques and passive motion activities to relieve symptoms like pain and inflammation while promoting healing and restoring strength, range of motion and flexibility to the joints and other musculoskeletal components. Physical therapy can also be used to treat issues like chronic headaches due to neck and upper back pain or trigger points, tender spots of inflammation in the tissue surrounding the muscles. Plus, physical therapy can help athletes become better at the activities they enjoy, and it can also help prevent future injuries by promoting greater strength, balance and flexibility.
Physical therapy is focused first on relieving pain and inflammation so patients feel better as quickly as possible. Once pain and inflammation are being addressed, therapy focuses on healing and restoring areas that have been injured through trauma and disease, relieving stiffness for greater flexibility while also promoting healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage. A skilled physical therapist can also provide information and education about how to avoid future injury so patients enjoy optimal health.
During your initial visit, a medical history will be taken and you'll be asked about your symptoms and what precipitated or caused them. You'll be carefully examined to determine the cause of pain and other symptoms, and based on the information gathered during your evaluation, an individualized treatment plan will be developed specifically for your medical needs, your overall health and ability to participate in therapeutic activities, and your treatment goals. Each session will include therapeutic exercises to build strength and improve flexibility, range of motion, endurance and other issues that can help promote better musculoskeletal health.
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