If you’ve ever suffered from any kind of injury or recovered from surgery, you may have been prescribed physical therapy sessions. This is the method of using exercises, stretches, and kinesiology to help a patient recover full strength or mobility after injury. Clinics that specialize in physical therapy give patients hope and independence as they are working through difficult recovery, or even if they’re just dealing with a minor injury. You’ll see many different reasons patients may need a visit to the physical therapist. From sports injuries to recovering from a stroke or dealing with old age, there are so many benefits to this form of healthcare.

While it is clear that physical therapy can help patients, you may be wondering how it directly impacts patient outcomes. There is plenty of research to support the need for physical therapy coupled with other treatment plans to get patients back up on their feet and ready to take on anything. With the help of these healthcare professionals, individuals are feeling more like themselves and ready to get back to daily life. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how physical therapy is impacting patient outcomes and truly improving lives.

Ability to help with mental and physical health.

After you’ve undergone surgery, a major injury, or a serious health scare, you may be a bit shaken up. It’s natural for someone who is bed-ridden or adapting to a new lifestyle to experience some depression symptoms and side effects. Physical therapy helps patients get back to their daily activities and find that sense of normalcy in their lives. A systematic review allows your healthcare team to come up with a treatment plan or a new approach to your chronic stress or major depression as well as your physical wellbeing.

There is quite the crossover between physical and mental healthcare. For example, ketamine is a drug that has been approved by the FDA for pain relief, but now researchers are looking into ketamine treatment options to help with major depressive disorders or bipolar depression as well. This may come as a surprise, because ketamine has a reputation for being a party drug. It’s important to recognize the difference between the ketamine that’s being tested in clinical trials for treating symptoms of depression and the “special k” ketamine that wreaks havoc when used illegally as a party drug. Combining your physical therapy with your mental healthcare may involve a dose of ketamine or other antidepressant therapies to improve patient quality of life for those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. This ketamine for depression treatment is one way to combine medicine with physical therapy to help individuals feel better physically and mentally. If you think it might the in your interest to explore the effect of ketamine on your depression symptoms, it’s worthwhile to make an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss options.

Give patients their mobility back.

Patients can end up in physical therapy for a number of reasons, but usually one of the side effects they’re dealing with is a loss of mobility. Maybe there is a stroke patient who has to relearn how to walk or maybe an injury has limited movement in specific joints. The goal of physical therapy is to help patients get back on their feet and increase mobility. This can be done with exercises and stretching, but you also may be able to use new technology to help assist these individuals. Thanks to a robotic exoskeleton, patients are more mobile than ever. The exoskeleton or exosuit straps on your body and helps support your limbs, joints, spine, and other areas as you regain your movement abilities. As a safe option, this can help exoskeleton wearers who suffer from fatigue and give them the strength to keep moving effectively. Exoskeletons provide a great way to speed up and increase positive patient outcomes.

Avoid complex surgeries.

Oftentimes, physical therapy will be used as preventative medicine. If a patient has weak knees or ankle joints, for example, early physical therapy can help them adjust their way of walking. This can potentially avoid the need for a complicated surgery on either joint down the line. Rather than fixing a major problem, physical therapists can recognize unhealthy behavior and correct it before it’s too late. Ultimately, this saves patients time and money they would otherwise spend on a complex surgery.

Reduce pain and discomfort.

Ultimately, physical therapy is a tool to help reduce pain and discomfort for patients. After regular sessions, you’ll start to see patients feeling more comfortable with certain exercises and able to perform regular tasks. Slowly but surely, you are retraining muscles and strengthening soft tissue so the pain subsides and patients can go about living a relatively normal life. If you continue with regular treatment, you also avoid the chance of pain returning down the line. In a clinic setting, treatment can be specialized for whatever each patient requires so pain management is easy to distinguish. It is a work in progress for both therapists and patients. It’s important to go at a good pace, stay hydrated with bottled water delivery, and take care of all other elements of your health as you’re working through pain. This gives the ultimate patient outcome of that individual feeling happier and living a fuller life without chronic stress or pain.

Help athletes get back to their sport.

Athletes are a huge group of individuals who take advantage of physical therapy. Because certain sports, like football, soccer, wrestling, etc., can be so physically demanding and dangerous, athletes can often experience serious injury. Whether it is a broken bone or a pulled muscle, physical therapists who specialize in sports injuries can help these athletes get back on the field, court, or mat in no time. By working those areas of the human body specifically and being trained to deal with athletes, these physical therapists are invaluable for the careers of athletes from the high school level to the professionals. Even for athletes that aren’t dealing with injury, physical therapy can help prepare them and get their body ready for the rigor of their specific sport.

All ages can benefit from physical therapy.

Another perk of physical therapy is that it can be useful for all ages and walks of life. Sure, athletes, elderly individuals, and those dealing with injury most commonly frequent the clinics, but many other individuals can benefit as well. From young kids adjusting their walking habits to college dancers improving their physical health or older adults trying to recover from a health scare. You’ll see a lot of different patients coming through the doors at the physical therapy clinic. Because of the wide array of treatment plans, technologies, and exercises, so many different individuals can be treated with the help of physical therapy. This diversity of treatment options is perhaps one of the biggest perks for patient outcomes.

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