Benefits of Physical Therapy

Benefits of Physical Therapy

Physical therapist services include evaluation and treatments provided by licensed physical therapists or physical therapist assistants. Physical therapy helps people:

  • Improve and restore movement and function.
  • Manage pain.
  • Reduce the symptoms of many chronic (long-term) conditions and diseases.
  • Recover from and prevent injury.

Here are some of the many benefits of physical therapy:

Maximize Your Movement

Physical therapists identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems. They help people maintain or restore as much function as possible. Physical function and movement are very important to: Your Movement

Get the Recommended Amount of Physical Activity

Regular physical activity can benefit your physical, mental, and social health. It also helps to prevent or improve many chronic conditions, such as:

  • Heart disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • Depression.
  • Some cancers.

Physical therapists help people overcome barriers to physical activity.

Care That Meets Your Specific Needs

Physical therapists design treatment plans specific to each person’s needs, challenges, and goals. They work together with you to develop strategies and help you achieve your goals. Physical therapists and PTAs care for people of all ages and abilities.

Manage Pain and Avoid Opioids

While doctor-prescribed opioids are suitable for some cases, they only mask pain. Physical therapists help people manage pain without the risks of opioid use. Opioid risks include depression, substance use disorder, overdose, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.

To manage long-term pain, the CDC recommends safer options like physical therapy.

Avoid Surgery

Physical therapists help people manage pain and improve movement problems. Some pain and movement problems can become chronic and lead to surgery.

Physical therapy helps to reduce the symptoms of many chronic diseases and conditions. It also can keep many problems from getting worse. Physical therapists can help you avoid the need for, and the costs and risks of, surgery.

Research shows that physical therapy is as effective as surgery for some conditions, including:

  • Meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis.
  • Rotator cuff tears.
  • Spinal stenosis.
  • Degenerative disk disease.

Before you have surgery, try physical therapy. In some cases, surgery cannot be avoided. Physical therapy helps people prepare for and recover after surgery.

You do not need a doctor’s referral for an evaluation by a physical therapist. Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. 

This information is from the American Physical Therapy Association.