One of the benefits of seeing a physical therapist for your health issue is that this practitioner can use a variety of methods of addressing your pain. Whereas some health professionals focus on just one method, physical therapists can use one more approaches to help achieve the desired results. Whether you're dealing with headaches, back pain, or other types of discomfort, you may encounter the following varied strategies during your physical therapy sessions.
Many physical therapists have training in active release therapy, which is a type of practice that can be valuable for treating pain associated with muscle issues. For example, if you've worked a particular muscle group extensively—perhaps during a long-term athletic endeavor such as a half-marathon—active release may be able to help. In this type of treatment, the physical therapist will knead and work your muscles, much in the same manner as a massage therapist might. This physical manipulation of your muscles can identify problem areas and help to loosen them, thus reducing your discomfort.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation
Depending on the nature of your health issue, your physical therapist may also use electronic muscle stimulation. In this type of care, small sensor pads are attached to your body and are connected through a wire to a control panel that allows the therapist to set the intensity of the stimulation.
When these sensor pads are activated, they send a pulse that serves to stimulate your muscles, essentially giving each muscle a specific workout. Sometimes, part of your appointment will be to lie quietly for a certain amount of time with these sensors attached to your body. The feeling may take a period of adjustment, but you'll soon find that it's relaxing.
Physical therapists will also often give homework in the form of stretching exercises. While lots of progress can be made during your appointments, the manner in which you take care of yourself between physical therapy sessions can also play a role in how quickly you heal. Toward the end of your appointment, the therapist will demonstrate a stretching regimen that you'll be expected to keep up regularly.
Sometimes, certain stretches will need to be assisted. Your physical therapist may ask that a family member who can provide this assistance between appointments accompanies you to the session. This way, the therapist can properly teach your family member about the role he or she needs to play in helping you to stretch.
To learn more about these approaches, contact services like Rehab Solutions Physical Therapy.