In the month of October, we recognize not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but also Physical Therapy Month. Sometimes we have a tendency to neglect just how important physical therapy is in the lives of so many people. It helps patients recover from injuries and live with conditions that cause chronic pain.
We people have a tendency to take for granted the simple enjoyment of being able to go about our days moving freely without pain. There are others who are not as fortunate, but with the help of physical therapy, get closer to pain-free movement every day.
For patients who have trouble with motion because of pain or conditions that cause immobility, physical therapy can help get their bodies moving enough to engage the muscles, preventing atrophy and improving balance. Getting them engaged in movement, even if it is just slow walking, also lowers their risk of heart attack and stroke.
Physical therapy can also improve the prognoses of some patients by offering another option before they resort to surgery or painkillers that could eventually become addictive. A lot of the time, people are not aware that there are other ways to manage the pain, but physical therapy provides them the chance to actually make a recovery instead of worsening their situation.
Physical therapists can provide you with individualized plans and exercises to help your body reach its optimal state of pain-free movement. They also give you the tools to help yourself outside of your appointments by teaching you how to stretch and care for your body on your own. You never know, even if you just have an injury that seems temporary, those tools could be useful to you later on in life if something else happens or you just have some residual pain from your original injury.
For information about the physical medicine and rehabilitation services that Catholic Health Services offers, please visit www.CatholicHealthServices.org