Physical therapy is a profession that is often misunderstood. When most people hear the words “Physical Therapy,” they think of someone who had an injury and requires rehabilitation to get that person back to normal. However, the field of Physical Therapy is far more diverse than this, it can help someone who has a “traditional” injury such as a rotator cuff tear and also help someone who has an inner ear dysfunction not to feel nauseous and/or dizzy. Arthritis and balance disorders are two other conditions frequently treated by Physical Therapists that do not require an active injury to be eligible for care.
You might wonder, “If I don’t have an injury, why do I need physical therapy?” or “What if I don’t have any pain?” Other misconceptions … physical therapy gets people out of pain and once patients are out of pain, they are good to go. Physical Therapy addresses many aspects of physical health, such as mobility, strength, coordination, and functional capabilities. It is not merely the absence of pain that is required for good physical health, it is also the presence of good mobility, strength, coordination, and functional capabilities.
Physical Therapy is patient-centered. While we have goals that are related to a specific objective, it is ultimately the patient who has the goal of getting back to doing activities the way they used to before needing Physical Therapy. Whether something as simple as combing one’s hair without difficulty/pain or as complex as performing woodwork without losing balance, having the patients being able to do the things that are important to them is paramount to the success of their treatments. Patients need to be motivated to participate in the services so that their recovery is not only smooth, but efficient.
Physical therapy as a profession is becoming more and more geared towards prevention, and maintenance of good physical health so that injuries never occur in the first place. There is benefit to seeing a physical therapist if an athlete is to remain viable from a physical standpoint in a game, and there is benefit to seeing a physical therapist if an elderly patient who wants to maintain their current muscle mass and balance capabilities so that they don’t fall and fracture a hip.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Fahy, DPT, please contact Beam Healthcare and Rehabilitation at 732.901.3001.