When you’re dealing with an injury, surgery recovery, or chronic condition that affects your ability to use or move a particular body part, physical therapy can be one of the most effective treatments. In particular, physical therapy can help restore normal range of motion, or how far you can stretch or move a joint or muscle.
The expert team at Johnson Medical Center in Venice, Florida, includes an on-site physical therapist and physical therapy assistant who can help facilitate this vital part of your rehabilitation plan. Take a few minutes to learn more about this process and how it might benefit you.
Physical therapy basics
Physical therapy focuses on diagnosing and treating any issues you have that interfere with movement, so that you can get back to healthier functioning. In addition to restoring your range of motion, physical therapy can help minimize pain, lower your risk for additional injuries, and get you back to a better quality of life sooner.
At Johnson Medical Center, we create customized physical therapy programs based on your unique needs, which may include:
- Hot and cold therapy
- Exercises to improve your body mechanics and posture
- Massage and other manual therapies
- Exercises for you to do at home
- Modifications to your daily activities
While physical therapy can serve as a stand-alone treatment, it’s often most effective when used in combination with additional treatments, such as chiropractic care.
How physical therapy improves range of motion
Physical therapy can help improve all three types of range of motion, which include:
- Active range of motion
- Active-assistive range of motion
- Passive range of motion
While active range of motion refers to how much you can move a joint or muscle with little to no help from your physical therapist, active-assistive range of motion involves some amount of help. And passive range of motion involves no effort on your part; your physical therapist manually moves the affected body part for you.
Hot and cold therapy can help by relieving pain so that you can better move, or reducing the tenseness of a muscle. And particular exercises, performed during your sessions or at home, can help gradually retrain a joint or muscle to normal functioning.
Special massage techniques can increase range of movement by increasing elasticity in your muscle tissue. This can help joint problems as well, by addressing issues in surrounding tissue. Massage also allows your muscles to relax and become more able to be stretched, which is key for restoring physical abilities.