What Do You Work On In Orthopedic Physical Therapy?

Posted on: 24 July 2020

Participating in sports is an excellent decision for your physical and mental health. Athletic people have healthier hearts and lungs, and weight-bearing activities can even have a positive effect on your bone density. Unfortunately, vigorous exercise can sometimes lead to injury.

When you're injured, your primary concern is likely getting back to your favorite activities as soon as possible. An orthopedic physical therapist can help you do just that. Here are four things you'll work on in orthopedic physical therapy.

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is vital if you want to remain injury-free. People who build their strength but neglect their flexibility are likely to run into joint issues. In orthopedic physical therapy, your therapist will give you exercises to improve your flexibility. These exercises may incorporate aspects of gentle fitness techniques, such as yoga and pilates. Some of these exercises may be uncomfortable at first, but they should get easier over time. Your therapist will monitor you to ensure you don't do anything that will exacerbate your injury during physical therapy.

2. Strength

Strength is important for every daily activity. You don't need to be a bodybuilder to exercise safely, but you should have sufficient strength in the necessary muscle groups. Some people develop muscular imbalances by exercising some parts of their body but not others. Your orthopedic physical therapist will examine your body, searching for imbalances. Once imbalances are identified, you'll be given a regimen of strengthening exercises to correct them. Strong muscles will stabilize your joints, making them less prone to injury in the future.

3. Proper Form

Orthopedic physical therapy is also designed to prevent further injury in the future. If you plan to go back to the activity that injured you, your physical therapist may suggest some modifications to your form. Proper form will protect your muscles and joints. Unlearning incorrect form can be difficult, but it's vital for your longevity as an athlete. Feel free to ask questions about form if you have concerns about exercises that your therapist doesn't address. Physical therapy can be a great learning environment.

4. Pain Relief

Your physical therapy sessions should also provide pain relief. In addition to various exercises, your physical therapist will treat the affected part of your body with bodywork techniques. They may massage your strained muscles to encourage a release of tension. Your physical therapist may also use cold therapy and electric muscle stimulation to provide relief to sore body parts.