“You need physical therapy.”

Those four words we hear from a doctor after a fall, injury, stroke, or other debilitating ailment might cause a surge of reluctance (it’s going to hurt!) or a feeling of fear (what if I fall off the total gym?) or even a bit of frustration (I just can’t keep my balance) but take heart! Researchers are quickly identifying situations in which physical therapy just might aid in a quicker recovery or (and this is a big or) help patients avoid an expensive and painful surgical procedure.

Here we’ve listed 5 ways physical therapy can help your patients recover to their fullest potential, and return to an active lifestyle as quickly as possible. Here are our reasons to try physical therapy:

  1. Avoiding Surgery. If a patient can alleviate pain or reduce the time it takes to heal from an injury, surgery may not be required. In the case that surgery IS required, PT both pre- and post-surgery will help patients prepare for and recover more quickly from surgery in many cases. The reduction in costs by choosing physical therapy over surgery is significant as well so it seems to make sense that physical therapy might be a good first step.
  2. Improved Mobility. As we age, it gets harder to stand, walk, and move, but physical therapy has been shown to be beneficial in extending mobility for most patients. For example, a variety of exercises using the MAT table can help restore a patient’s ability to move more freely and for a longer period of time. Exercises that focus on strength and balance will aid in mobility as well. Depending on the patient, a personalized care plan can be adapted for maximum performance and safety.
  3. Recovering from a Stroke. After a stroke, it’s fairly common for a patient to lose a certain degree of functionality in various parts of the body. Physical therapy with the MAT table can help strengthen those weakened limbs or core and help improve both gait and balance. Physical therapists also may work with patients to improve their ability to get in and out of bed, transfer from walker/crutch to cane or chair, or provide them with enough returning mobility to manage the chores of daily living.
  4. Recovering from or Preventing an Injury. Physical fitness is good for you. Accidental falls, strains, and fractures can all slow down your travels along the road to good health. Physical therapy may help with not just recovery, but understanding how to prevent the risk of a similar injury as a patient returns to their regularly scheduled physical activities.
  5. Improved Balance and Fall Prevention. Even though this is mentioned above, it deserves its own category since loss of balance resulting in falls occurs naturally in the aging process. One of the key screening factors in most outpatient physical therapy clinics is the fall risk. Patients with a higher risk of falls can be taught, through physical therapy, to improve the muscles used for balance and coordinate that with exercises that mimic real-life situations.

So there you have it.

Five reasons why we think physical therapy can benefit patients with various injuries, illnesses, or frailties. We invented the MAT table for just these patients. It’s sturdier and wider than the Total Gym, has the ability to incline to 45 degrees, and lays flat for a manipulation table. Additional functions like the pulley system or traction attachment provide even more flexibility for delivering treatment modalities in rehab clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other physical therapy clinics.

Ask questions. Learn what options are available for your recovery and consider giving physical therapy a try. To learn more about the MAT table, visit our other stories at multipleapplicationstable.com or call us at 269-569-4414. Don’t forget to ask about our referral program!