Physical therapy is assumed to be moving your body into positions that are maybe uncomfortable due to an injury or illness. The reality is there is more to physical therapy than just exercises. Today we review different options and what they do for the body that is recovering.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy is about supporting the veins and increasing blood flow through limbs. Many times the patient has had an injury, surgery, excessive weight gain, blood clots, and long periods of non-movement. All of these situations cause veins to stop functioning as they should and compression products help take care of those issues. The most popular products include socks, armbands, braces, wraps, and socks. Companies like Therafirm create supportive products that are stylish for everyday wear while healing. You should speak with a physical therapist on which products would best serve you if you are struggling with vein problems.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy covers a wide variety of people who struggle with everyday tasks. Senior citizens who struggle with changes in their body, the middle-aged person who broke their arm, or a child with developmental issues all benefit from occupational therapy. The focus is to help a person regain a skill that they may have lost due to illness or injury. Most occupational therapists use a holistic approach to the therapy by adapting the environment to the patient to make skills easier to learn and master.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedic physical therapy focuses solely on our musculoskeletal system; the bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Many athletes and patients who have suffered an injury use orthopedic therapy to regain a skill they once lost. Unlike occupational therapy, orthopedic therapy is about getting our bodies back to the same function prior to the injury. This includes relearning to walk after a broken leg or foot, learning how to use the hand that was broken or tendons snapped, and even learning to walk after a hip surgery.

Geriatric Physical Therapy

Geriatric physical therapy is specifically designed to help our elderly community members to maintain health and skills during the aging process. While many patients receive this care after injury, surgery, or illness, many older folks can benefit from using this sort of therapy to cope with aging. Geriatric physical therapy focuses on improving stability, strength, mobility, and balance. Even if someone is not sick but still struggling with their changing bodies, they can utilize this therapy to keep them on their toes and living as functionally as possible for longer than if they did get sick.

Neurological Physical Therapy

Neurological physical therapy is a specialized form of therapy designed for people who have a neurological disorder or injury. When these patients see a physical therapist, it’s important to keep them moving so that they don’t develop other issues due to inactivity. It’s an empowering type of therapy that can help a patient regain or improve their body movements over time. For instance, a cerebral palsy patient may learn to walk better with the aid of braces and exercises that force the body to work in a specific way and retrain the brain. Or a patient that had a brain injury can learn a simple task like eating with a spoon. This type of therapy aims to give independence, freedom, and pride in being able to perform simple tasks that many of us take for granted.

Many people need some form of physical therapy at some point in their lives. Knowing the differences can help improve your situation in the long run. 

About The Author

Kenneth Hart