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Physical therapy can help people who are suffering with an illness, medical condition or injury that limits and restricts their ability to move and function as normal. General Practitioners usually refer a patient to a Physical Therapist as the first step in treatment as it is considered a conservative approach. At a consultation, a Physical Therapist will identify the problem and put together a customized program and encourage a patient to undergo activities and lifestyle changes to prevent further injury or medical problems and to generally improve overall health. 
Here is a summary of the main ways that physical therapy can help you:

To improve mobility

Injury or illness can lead to mobility problems. It can be a problem with walking, standing or movement of any part of the body. Physical therapy can help with a series of stretching and strengthening exercises aimed at restoring the body’s ability to move. If a mobility aid is required, a Physical Therapist will correctly fit a patient with a cane, crutches or other required mobility assistive device.

For pain management/ reduction 

Manual therapy techniques such as joint and soft tissue mobilization can help relieve pain and improve joint and muscle function. Other techniques include ultrasound, taping or electrical stimulation . All reduce pain and the likelihood of the pain returning. 

To avoid surgery

Many people are reluctant to undergo surgery unless really necessary. If pain can be managed or even eliminated through physical therapy, it can prevent the need for surgery. If however, surgery is required, physical therapy is often used before surgery to ensure a patient goes into surgery strong and in a better position to quickly recover. 

To recover from or prevent a sports injury

A Physical Therapist will design an appropriate recovery program to help a patient get back to their sport as soon as possible. And they understand how different sports are prone to causing specific types of injuries and can recommend appropriate prevention exercise programs to be used on an ongoing basis.

To improve balance

If you are prone to falling due to balance issues, a Physical Therapist can recommend exercises that help improve balance by mimicking real-life situations. They can also provide exercise programs that improve coordination. If balance problems are due to a problem with the vestibular system, a Therapist can help reduce the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. 

To help with age related issues

Arthritis, osteoporosis and joint problems are all issues that can occur with age. Physical Therapists can help patients manage their condition and help with the recovery process required after joint replacement surgery.

Summary

Physical Therapists can assist with the prevention and treatment of many issues. As well as these more common issues outlined, physical therapy can also provide specialized treatment for a range of other conditions including: heart and lung disease, strokes, bowel incontinence, breast cancer, pelvic health, fibromyalgia, urinary incontinence and constipation. It can also benefit those suffering from pregnancy and postpartum issues.