5 Surprising Ways a Physical Therapist Can Help You

By Ben Loomis – DSC_9441.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73875056

There is a very common misconception about what physical therapy is when someone hears the words physical therapy. Many people think about just helping an athlete after a major injury, while others think about massage or personal training. With today’s sub-specialties, physical therapists can actually help patients in many ways they don’t usually expect.

Heart Attack Recovery

If you are lucky enough to survive a heart attack, you will need to strengthen the muscles weakened by coronary artery disease. PTs can help to strengthen your heart with basic gym equipment – treadmills, rowing machines, ellipticals. But it’s not just a normal day at the gym. Exercise regimens are carefully prescribed so that patients do not push their bodies too far.

This not only reduces risk factors for future heart disease, but also improves the way their hearts heal. Exercise helps to limit what we call remodeling. An abnormal change in the size or shape of the heart, exercise actually helps to improve that modeling, where muscle fibers heal in a more organized way, and helps to maintain and improve the function of the heart.

Jaw, Head, and Neck Pain Reduction

Bad posture and excessive stress may contribute to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD, one of the main causes of jaw pain. Bad posture can alter your bite or force your muscles to work harder, and stress can lead to night-time grinding of your teeth.

Bad posture can also contribute to pain in the neck and to tension headaches. Typically, these problems begin with manual therapy to loosen muscles and tissues. Then move to posture exercises that can be used to treat and prevent the problem.

Retrain Your Brain

Strokes and traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, can make it hard to walk, exercise, and do things that were easy before. If one part of the brain is damaged, it can actually affect the way it communicates with your body’s muscles. Physical therapy can retrain your brain and teach damaged motor pathways to function. By forcing your body to go through the movements you want to relearn—walking, for example, or playing baseball—you’re rebuilding the connections between your brain and muscles.

Breathe Easier

Chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema, can make it difficult to breathe, leading to other problems, such as muscle loss. Physical therapy can help you build muscles, improve breathing, and clear your lungs. Pulmonary patients often do aerobic training that is similar to what heart patients do. They then add additional boosting and breathing exercises to optimize breathing patterns and oxygen intake. Another major part is the hands-on care of the physicist in the chest, where little taps and percussion and vibrations are actually given to the chest wall to help clear the mucus out of a particular segment of the lung.

Hold Your Pee Better

Urine problems are never fun to talk about, but the Physical Therapist is a good person to trust.”Caused by weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, if the patient sneezes or opens a heavy door, the urine leaks because the muscles are weak. Patients strengthen their muscles with pelvic floor exercises and gain control of the bladder.

Are You Looking for a Physical Therapist Near San Jose You Can Trust?

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation.  Not all diagnoses are created equal. One person with neck pain may have completely different limitations than the next person. Your recovery program needs to be specific to what YOUR body needs and not just the typical exercise program that you can find online. Just because your pain decreases or you can walk longer doesn’t mean that it is enough to get you functioning at the level you want to be. While this often signifies the end of care at your typical PT clinic we don’t stop providing guidance until we help you successfully meet every goal you set for yourself with us on day one. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!