When the body is severely injured, it can take months or years to heal. Damage to muscles and nerves is especially critical because proper rehabilitation is needed to restore function and retrain muscles, and this is typically done through the utilization of physical therapy. The need for physical therapy was not always prevalent, but some very traumatic events in history shed light on the importance and benefits of a well-trained physical therapist.
The Birth of Physical Therapy
There can be no doubt that as long as man has existed so has the need for physical therapy, but the polio epidemic in 1916 put an emphasis on this need as so many suffered the debilitating effects of this disease. Polio hit its peak in the 1950s and caused the death of thousands, and left countless others paralyzed and in the need of medical care.
1917 brought about World War I, and with it many injured soldiers. These wounded soldiers suffered broken bones, burns, amputated legs and arms as well as spinal cord and nerve damage.
The Army was the first to develop facilities that specialized in “reconstruction aide.” They developed programs and trained personnel in the profession of rehabilitation which would later become physical therapy. Physical therapy continued to gain respect and recognition throughout the years and World War II.
Who Needs It
There are many chronic conditions that people suffer from, and these individuals could benefit from regular visits to a Physical Therapist. Some of these chronic conditions include:
- spinal stenosis
- sporting Injuries (plantar fasciitis, ligament tears)
- stroke rehabilitation
- chronic Pain (Fibromyalgia or Injury)
These conditions can affect body function and everyday life. Physical therapy retrains muscles, rebuilds stamina and strength, and teaches pain management. It can make walking, climbing stairs, or lifting objects easier. There are many types of physical therapy. It can be obtained through regular exercise, manual therapy via devices or massage, wound care or heat and cold therapies.
Where to Get Help
There are many options now available for receiving physical therapy. It can be obtained in a hospital, clinic or even via in-home care. Many chronic conditions are treated with medications but medication only treats the symptoms not the problem. Physical therapy seeks to treat the condition and improve daily living. The AAPM&R likens it to putting ones life back together on all levels, “medically, socially, emotionally, after injury or disease.” It continues to grow in advancements and helps those of all ages who suffer from chronic conditions that rob them of the right to function in life without hindrance or pain.
Of course, in Colorado Springs, we offer hands-on physical therapy by a fully-licensed specialists for all of our patients. You never see a tech or assistant. Give us a call to see what we can do for you or a loved one.