5 Things Physical Therapy Can Do for You

We live in a world of instant gratification, so it’s hard not to expect the same speedy results from your body. While modern medicine has made great strides in accelerating the recovery process — like the regenerative power of platelet-rich plasma — it still takes time to heal injuries and diseases.

One of the most underrated treatments, physical therapy, remains one of the most effective and indispensable approaches to healing.

That’s why physical therapy is central to so many of our treatment plans at Coastal Ortho. We specialize in repairing damaged and impaired tissues and helping our patients return to their active lives fully functional and pain-free, thanks in large part to physical therapy. 

Here’s a closer look at physical therapy and five key benefits you stand to gain from it.

Physical therapy 101

Physical therapy facilitates recovery from injury or illness by helping increase your strength, flexibility, stability, and mobility as it simultaneously reduces pain. Our experienced physical therapy team offers a wide range of modalities, including:

  • Exercise
  • Stretching
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Joint mobilization

Our PT team can also provide advice on lifestyle changes to promote overall well-being and improve physical function. We tailor your one-on-one sessions to address your symptoms, abilities, stage of life (age), and activity goals. 

What physical therapy can do for you

Physical therapy is our favorite multifaceted multitasker in the field of orthopedic medicine. It addresses so many musculoskeletal health needs that it’s an essential treatment component, whether you suffer from knee, neck, back, shoulder, wrist, or foot and ankle pain. Here’s what you get out of physical therapy.

1. Better balance

Favoring an uninjured limb as you protect an injured one puts you at risk for falls, and so does age. Physical therapy improves your balance by focusing on core-strengthening exercises, progressive muscle relaxation techniques, and gait balance and stability. 

Your balance exercises may include standing on one foot, single-leg squats, jumps, lateral crawls, and walking with a heel-to-toe pattern, to name a few. Our Coastal Ortho physical therapists also teach you how to use guardrails or walking aids when necessary to prevent falls.

2. Pain reduction

Pain is a broad term that covers many types and sources of discomfort. Our physical therapists work with our physicians to identify the underlying cause of your pain and reduce it. 

We may strengthen supporting muscles around an arthritic joint, improve your posture to relieve back pain, use manual therapy to relieve pressure from a compressed nerve, or use heat therapy to relax tight, painful muscle tissue. These are just a few examples of physical therapy’s power to stamp out pain.

3. More mobility

Chronic diseases, acute injuries, and surgeries can significantly hinder your ability to get around. That’s where physical therapy comes in, focusing on exercises that improve range of motion, strength, and balance. 

Your PT plan might include resistance band exercises, stretching, gait training, and the use of assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, to increase movement and coordination. We can also guide you on safely moving between positions and reduce the chance of injury or pain.

4. Age gracefully

We don’t have to tell you that your body begins to break down as you age. Even a healthy body can find it harder to perform tasks that were easy 10 years ago. Add an injury or illness to that problem, and you may need help getting around. 

Our physical therapists deeply understand what’s happening with your aging anatomy and know how to keep it functional. Whether you’ve recently had a joint replacement or just need to increase your range of motion so you can reach your shoes, we’ve got you covered.

5. Avoid surgery

Physical therapy is a must after surgery, but you might not realize that it can also help you avoid surgery. For example, if you have severe osteoarthritis in your knee, you may be facing surgery as a last-resort treatment. But if you haven’t given physical therapy a try, you should.

Studies show that physical therapy is “the most important nonsurgical treatment of knee osteoarthritis” because it improves joint function, prevents additional chronic conditions, and enables you to delay or avoid surgical intervention.

To find out what physical therapy can do for you, contact Coastal Ortho in Torrance or El Segundo, California, or use our online appointment request form and schedule a consultation with our experts.