Did you know there are many choices for the type of treatment you receive in physical therapy? Not only do you have a choice of which physical therapist to see, you can also opt for a number of newer treatments that can quickly make you feel great again. Here’s what you need to know about modern physical therapy and which therapist to choose.
The Need for Physical Therapy is Increasing
You may have noticed that the number of physical therapy facilities is growing by leaps and bounds. That’s no accident; Americans are participating more in sports and other physical activities and more often injuring themselves. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting that the number of physical therapy practices will grow by almost a third over the course of the next three years. And while they used to be found mainly in hospital settings, many physical therapists now work out of their own offices, providing more flexible hours and services.
Today’s typical patient is a weekend warrior; someone with a desk job during the week who overdoes it on the weekend either playing sports or working around the house. Professional athletes and senior citizens with joint and/or back pain are also frequently referred to physical therapists. But did you know that even common ailments, such as a lack of balance or knee pain, can also be helped by physical therapy?
Who Should You See?
If you rely only on the recommendation of your physician, you could incur extra charges. This is because many doctors refer patients to physical therapists who practice in a physician-owned center. Is this a conflict of interest? Definitely! Not only do their services usually cost more, patients are limited by the types of therapies offered in these clinics.
Prior restrictions on this type of practice, known as “Stark” laws, were reversed in 2007. Although doctors claim this helps them provide better overall care for their patients, it doesn’t always result in the injured receiving the best physical therapy for the value.
If you have been injured and physical therapy is ordered to help you recover, it’s important to know you have a choice. All you need is a prescription.
What Type of Therapy Can You Expect?
Physical therapy is efficacious for a variety of ailments and there are just as many treatments available as there are types of injuries. These can range from simple exercises and stretching routines to more sophisticated, machinery-driven treatments for muscle rehab.
One of the newest forms of physical therapy involves a far infrared ray (FIR) body wrap system. Through the use of FIR directly on the affected parts of the body, patients get almost immediate and often long-lasting relief for a number of ailments. The gentle infrared heat, which is topically applied through a wrap, relaxes the body while loosening stiff joints while improving circulation. It is often used prior to therapeutic exercise to loosen and prepare the joints, or after therapy, to relieve muscle aches and pains.
When you are injured or your aches and pains don’t go away within a week or so, you may need physical therapy to regain total health. Remember that you have a choice when it comes to practitioners and you have a choice when it comes to the type of therapy involved. Ask your physical therapist if he or she incorporates an infrared body wrap known for its safe healing properties.