How Physical Therapy Can Get You Moving Again

How Physical Therapy Can Get You Moving Again

Stiff, painful joints want to stay where they are. But if they stay where they are, so will you. As counterintuitive as it seems, moving your joints through pain and stiffness actually helps them become less painful and stiff.

When your joints move, they actually release a lubricant called synovial fluid that acts like the oil in an engine. Of course, moving too much too soon could result in an injury, which is why you need help learning your limitations and gradually moving past them to regain full mobility.

At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our expert rheumatologists provide medications and treatments that help you regain pain-free motion. Part of your recovery and rehabilitation requires work with a physical therapist. Here’s why and how physical therapy (PT) is so important to keep you active.

A physical therapist respects your limits … then surpasses them

A physical therapist is like a coach. They work with you where you are and yet gradually push you to achieve more than you ever thought you could on your own. 

When you’re in pain, you may resist moving, especially moving in a new way. But your body must move to stay healthy and to create new cells, including bone and muscle cells.

Your therapist evaluates your current range of motion and pain level. They then design a customized program designed to incrementally increase your:

They never push you beyond what your body can withstand. You don’t have to worry about injuring yourself, as long as you follow directions and do your at-home exercises.

Physical therapy improves your balance

By moving, stressing, and building strength in your body, your health benefits in many ways. But one of the most important is an improvement in your balance. 

In order to stay on your feet and avoid a fall, your core muscles need to be strong. Your therapist works on your main areas of injury and pain, but they also increase the strength of your core. Your core supports your entire body, including your spine.

Physical therapy aids healing

Even though pushing yourself past your current limits may feel like a strain, a certain amount of stress helps your body heal. You build muscles by first tearing them down. In response, your body creates new muscle cells to make the tissue stronger and more resilient.

By babying your injury or painful area you actually deprive your body of the chance to repair and rebuild it. With the aid of PT, you stress your body just enough to create growth and healing, but not enough to cause a new injury.

Physical therapy lessens need for drugs or surgery

Without PT, your pain may worsen or stay the same, leading to long-term medication use that may have side effects. Although you may still need painkillers and anti-inflammatories when you work with a physical therapist, you help your body heal itself, which naturally and gradually reduces your reliance on drugs.

In addition, your therapist can help you heal pain and injuries sufficiently so that you can avoid surgery. Although surgery is sometimes the only solution, it always has risks. Avoiding surgery saves you money and recovery time, and avoids the complications of surgery itself.

Physical therapy addresses multiple issues

Your therapist may use a variety of techniques to help you move painlessly again. Exercises and therapies include:

No matter how active or sedentary you are now, PT can help you build strength and stamina to improve mobility and reduce pain

To get help with your chronic or acute pain, contact your nearest Rheumatology Center of New Jersey office today. We have locations in Somerville, Flemington, and Monroe, New Jersey.

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