It’s estimated that more 61 million adults and over 3 million children in the USA live with some form of functional disability; a disability that could benefit greatly from physical therapy.
- Improve mobility and muscle strength
- Prevent loss of function
- Manage chronic pain
- Prevent chronic conditions worsening
- Avoid chronic disease
- Recover from injury
- Prevent repetitive strain syndrome
- Prolong, or return to, sports and physical activities
- Improve ways to do daily tasks
Types of Physical Therapy Treatments
There are 6 different types of physical therapy, these include:
- Pediatric physical therapy: physio specifically designed for children
- Neurological physical therapy: aims to restore loss of mobility that originates in the neuromuscular and nervous systems
- Geriatric physical therapy: designed to treat ailments associated with old-age
- Vestibular rehabilitation: treats vestibular disorders, problems with eye movement, control and balance
- Orthopedic physical therapy: treats physical problems related to the musculoskeletal system
- Cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy: aims to treat patients with chronic lung disease and pulmonary heart failure
Pediatric physical therapy is a branch of physio that aims to improve functional limitations or disability due to disease, disorder, or trauma.
Whilst physical therapy is a go-to treatment for many adults suffering from impaired movement due to injury or disease, parents can often struggle to find the correct type of physio care to meet their child’s needs.
That’s when it can be beneficial to seek out therapist who have experience in treating newborns, young children and adolescents, since the care they require to not harm their growing bodies can often be quite different from treatment administered to adults.
Look for therapist who offer numerous treatments for children with special needs, these may include social, occupational, speech, and applied behavior therapies. Great pediatric physicians will also assign personalized teams to better coordinate your child’s recovery.
Geriatric physical therapy aims to helping older adults build the strength in their muscles required to complete everyday tasks such as walking, standing, changing positions, and going up and down stairs.
Geriatric physical therapy does this by employing a number of different exercises designed to prevent muscle atrophy and the worsening of debilitating conditions, decrease the risk of falls and help maintain independence.
Geriatric physical therapy treatments may include:
- Lower body stretches for the lower back, hamstrings, and hips
- Lower body strengthening for the glutes and quads
- Balance exercises to help you maintain your stability
- Endurance training to keep the heart and lungs healthy
Neurological physical therapy is utilized to help regain the loss of physical abilities as a result of:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Guillain Barre Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Progressive neurological conditions
It is extremely important in the recovery of those who’ve experience brain injuries, and can be effective for patients of any age.
The vestibular system consists of the inner ear and the brain. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a specialized form of therapy used to treat problems with the eyes and ears that can lead to gaze instability, dizziness and balance issues (imbalance).
A number of different factors such as pain, activity level, other medical conditions and emotional wellbeing, can greatly impact recovery, therefore it is important to choose a therapist with lots of experience.
Vestibular rehabilitation treatments include:
- Habituation exercises
- Gaze stabilization
- Balance training
- Enhancing postural stability
Vestibular rehabilitation treatments can be effective for people of any age suffering from problems with vestibular disorders.
Orthopedic physical therapy focuses enhancing the use of your orthopedic system, which includes the joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles, to help patients relieve pain and function better.
Orthopedic physical therapy treatments may include:
- Strength training
- Heat and/or ice application
- Muscle stimulation
- Joint mobilization
Orthopedic physical therapy has been shown to be effective for people of any age, from newborns and young children to adolescents and adults.