Pain is our body's way of letting us know everything is not all right. Pain in the body can result from chronic conditions such as arthritis, or because of an injury. Often times, surgery is recommended to treat or remedy the situation. And while we may follow our doctor's advice without asking too many questions, many times surgery isn't necessary at all. In certain situations, time spent with a physical therapist can ease or even reverse your condition and make surgery completely unnecessary. Add to that the fact that for many people, going under the knife is frightening in itself, and it is easy to see why someone would seek out another option.
Physical therapists use their expertise of the body, and various pieces of physical therapy equipment to treat your injury. Every situation is different, and there are some cases where surgery is definitely the only way to go, but generally physical therapy will always provide some benefit.
Surgery will usually be necessary when tissues and muscles are torn to the point that they must be manually put back together to heal. Compound fractures are another injury that may require surgery in order to heal properly. Physical therapy can help you avoid surgery for conditions such as strains, sprains, some fractures, tendonitis, back pain and even dislocated shoulders. It is also helpful for some degenerative conditions like arthritis, disc degeneration and pain caused by postural problems.
Different types of physical therapy supplies and equipment are used by the therapist to heal your injury and help you avoid surgery. Types of therapy can include hydro therapy, electro therapy, heat and cold therapy, suspension aids, traction aids and different exercise equipment.
Hydro therapy immerses you in water in various tanks and tubs to help increase blood flow and take the resistance of gravity away. Another piece of physical therapy equipment used in hydro therapy is your typical whirlpool bath.
Electro therapy includes providing an electric current to muscles and nerves to help stimulate blood flow and tissue. Different muscle stimulation and ultrasound devices are used as part of treatment.
Physical therapy supplies used in heat and cold treatment include a paraffin wax bath, hot steam packs and cold packs. They are usually used in the management of swelling and/or pain in different joints and muscles.
Suspension and traction aids are heavy-duty looking pieces of equipment for patients who need to be immobilized to some degree for treatment to be effective.
There are many different techniques and treatment options available to the physical therapist to help you avoid surgery. Some valuable tips to help give you the best chance at avoiding surgery for your particular condition would be to always listen to your therapist and do any exercises they prescribe for when you are at home, and have an open mind. Some of the movements and exercises you will be doing will seem bizarre. Just have faith that your therapist knows what they are doing and you may be able to avoid that surgery after all.