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For many people who have sustained an orthopedic injury or undergone a surgical procedure, physical therapy may seem like something to 'just get through' following your treatment. The truth is, physical therapy is the next step in your treatment plan, and it's essential for helping your body return to full function. But how exactly does it help you recover?

At Jefferson Orthopedic Clinic, our team of orthopedic specialists in Marrero, LA wants their patients to understand the importance of physical therapy to their treatment plan. Here's a look at five ways physical therapy can help you achieve a faster, more effective, longer-lasting recovery:

  1. 1. It helps you regain strength and mobility.

    After an injury or surgical procedure, it's common to experience a loss of strength and range of motion. After all, your body has experienced trauma, and you likely haven't been using the affected area as much as usual in order to minimize pain. By working with you to gradually increase your strength and flexibility, your physical therapist can help you return your body to its full physical capability. Some common strength and mobility exercises utilized in physical therapy include:

    • Resistance training using weights, bands, or your own body weight
    • Stretches, such as those involving an active range of motion
    • Range of motion exercises, including those using pulleys

    Some people even utilize physical therapy prior to a surgical procedure to help them regain strength and mobility faster afterward.

  2. 2. It can help prevent further injury.

    Another benefit of physical therapy is that it can help to prevent future injuries by addressing any underlying issues that may have contributed to your initial injury. For example, if you have weak muscles or poor posture, these underlying issues can be addressed and corrected through physical therapy so that you're less likely to experience a similar injury in the future.

  3. 3. It helps you regain your balance and coordination.

    It's not just strength and mobility that may be affected following an injury or surgery -- your coordination and balance may also be off. This can make activities like walking or climbing stairs more difficult, and increase your risk of falls. Physical therapy can help you relearn how to balance and coordinate your movements so you can once again do everyday activities safely. Common physical therapy exercises that promote balance and coordination include exercises on a balance board or wobble cushion.

  4. 4. It reduces inflammation and pain.

    Physical therapy can also help reduce inflammation and pain in your affected area. Inflammation is a normal part of the healing process, but it can cause discomfort and pain, making it difficult to move and perform the tasks you need to in order to exercise. By using techniques like heat and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, and massage, your therapist can help you find relief from your symptoms. These techniques can help to reduce swelling, improve blood flow, and relieve pain so that you can focus on your recovery.

  5. 5. It prepares you for a successful return to activity.

    Most importantly, physical therapy prepares you for a successful return to activity, including daily tasks, work, and the hobbies or sports you enjoy. This is especially true for athletes, many of whom have the ultimate goal of getting back on the field or court and performing as well as they did prior to their injury or surgery. Depending on several factors -- including the severity of your injury, the nature of your injury, and your unique recovery goals -- your plan may include a gradual return to your everyday activities, or it may involve a specific rehab program tailored to your needs. Physical therapy near you can help ensure that you are physically and emotionally ready to resume your normal routine.

    If you have an orthopedic injury or have undergone a procedure with an orthopedic surgeon, be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions when it comes to physical therapy. It's not just the step between the hospital and your full recovery -- it's a key part of your treatment plan, and it can help you regain strength, mobility, function, and more. It can even mean the difference between making a true recovery and reinjuring yourself in the future.

At Jefferson Orthopedic Clinic, we specialize in helping our patients recover from orthopedic injuries and surgeries using the most cutting-edge techniques available, including McKenzie Therapy. Our physical therapy clinic will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that will help you regain strength, mobility, and range of motion. We'll also help you learn how to protect yourself from further injury.

If you’re ready to find relief from the top orthopedic doctor near you in New Orleans, schedule your first appointment with Jefferson Orthopedic Clinic today.