There are a variety of conditions that physical therapists (PT) can treat with the most common being orthopedic related injuries.
However, there are many other conditions that fall within the realm of physical therapy that many people are not aware of. Here is a list of a few that you may not have expected:
Most of the time, headaches are the result of muscle tightness, stress, or trauma. Depending on the cause or source of your headaches, PTs can provide the appropriate treatment to alleviate your symptoms. A Physical Therapist can perform manual techniques to decrease the muscle tightness, and educate the patient about appropriate postures for the head and neck to decrease the tension placed on the areas that may be causing the headaches
Urinary incontinence can be a result of pregnancy, surgery, childbirth, or pelvic floor weakness. A PT can help strengthen the appropriate muscles with exercises or biofeedback. Manual techniques can also be performed to decrease the tone and spasms of the pelvic floor muscles. Over time, the patient will have a better control of their ability to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles to decrease incontinence.
Wounds are usually more common in individuals with diabetes or vascular problems. If they are not properly managed, they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. One of the main goals of physical therapy is to ensure proper healing of the wound with appropriate dressings and debridement techniques. Once the wound has healed, a PT will educate the individual on self-management and prevention.
Sometimes mistaken for a toothache, jaw pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is poor head and neck posture which can cause abnormal movements within the temporomandibular (jaw) joint. A PT can address the factors contributing to poor posture and improve the mobility of the joint to decrease pain.
Vertigo, the sensation of the room spinning, can cause balance problems and sometimes even nausea and vomiting. One of the most common forms of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This condition is a mechanical problem within the inner ear where certain positions of your head can cause brief moments of vertigo. The good thing about BPPV is that it can easily be treated by a PT within a few sessions.
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Jason Wong, PT, DPT
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