I get this question a lot…
I’m going to start with the first part of this question, because if you don’t understand what Physical Therapy is it’s going to be even more difficult to know if it can help you?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear simple answer that can be given here.
No wonder people are confused!
In fact, if I asked 10 different Physical Therapists and 10 different patients this same question, I would probably get 20 different answers.
There is a VERY good explanation for this...so stick with me here!
I’m going to try and give you some clarity…
Physical therapists often specialize in certain areas of health, just like most physicians specialize. You probably don’t want a gynecologist doing heart surgery. I know I’d prefer a heart surgeon and not just any heart surgeon…I’d want the best! I’m guessing you would too!
Similarly, you probably want a Physical Therapist that understands your specific problem and is good at fixing it! So just any Physical Therapist won’t do!
Some Physical Therapists specialize in working with children or the elderly, others may specialize in women’s health, sports injuries or orthopedics…and more! Some therapists specialize even further in a specific treatment technique, specific sport or type of injury. A few examples (of many) that come to mind include balance disorders, back pain, ACL/knee injuries or cross fit injuries. Some Physical Therapists may also offer specialized programs that focus on wellness and prevention, such as yoga or Pilates, workplace safety, general fitness or weight loss.
Hopefully, you are starting see why it might be difficult to get (or give) a clear answer to this question…
…it really depends on who you’re asking, what the specific problem is and what type of specialized Physical Therapist would be best equipped to address it.
At Purely Primal Physical Therapy & Wellness we specialize in helping active adults recover from injury and resolve lingering aches and pains, so they can get back to their exercise programs and the recreational activities they love, and to improve their health naturally without pain medication, injections or surgery.
So, based on that…here’s MY answer to the question “What is Physical Therapy Anyway?”
Physical Therapy is a highly specialized form of rehabilitation in which a trained Physical Therapist uses a combination of pain relieving treatments and hands on treatment techniques to help reduce swelling, soothe and relax tight aching muscles and loosen stiff or stuck joints, and teach exercises to stretch and strengthen the body to improve function, fitness and health. This is all done while keeping each individual patient's goal(s) in mind and striving to reach those goals...whatever they may be.
Now that we’ve discussed “what” Physical Therapy is, let’s talk about the second part of the question…
How do you know if Physical Therapy can help you?
As we discussed earlier…Physical Therapists specialize in helping a lot of different types of people with a lot of different types of problems. Just like physicians do!
So, first I’m going to answer this based on the type of people we specialize in helping.
If you have an injury (recent or old) or have a lingering ache or pain that is limiting or preventing you from participating in your exercise program, recreational activities or even your usual daily or work activities…chances are we can help you!
If we could help eliminate or even just decrease your pain…what value would that bring to your life?
If we could help get you back to your regular exercise routine or find a way to modify your exercise routine so you can continue to maintain or improve your fitness, manage your weight or achieve your weight loss goals and improve your health...what value would that bring to your life?
If we could get you back to the recreational activities you love, back to enjoying the fun things in life with your family and friends…what value would that bring to your life?
My guess is if you’ve been suffering in pain or missing out on doing the things you need and love…
…any improvement in any of these things would be a step in the right direction.
There is almost always something that can be done…even if you’ve already tried other things!
The specific Physical Therapy treatment(s) needed will be different for each person depending on their specific problem. This requires a good Physical Therapist to perform a thorough evaluation to look for the cause of pain and then work WITH the individual patient to correct it.
Yes, you heard me right! I said…work WITH the patient. Don’t be fooled by promises that someone will get rid of pain and “fix” your problem without any work or effort on your part. These types of “treatment plans” often focus on just treating the symptoms and will only give you “temporary” relief. I find most of my patients want more than just a temporary fix, they are really looking for a permanent solution and long-term improvements in their health…and they are willing to put in the time and effort required to get the result they want.
Maybe you’ve already tried Physical Therapy…now what?
Well my guess is you’re still reading because you still have hope that someone can help you. If this is you, please don’t give up on your health. Not all Physical Therapists or Physical Therapy Clinics are created equal.
And if we’re not the right clinic to help you with your problem, we are happy to help guide you in the right direction to get the help you need.
If you’re still unsure about what physical therapy is or whether it can help you…let us know.
We are here to help!
We’d love to hear from you and are happy to answer your questions. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I read and respond to every email.
If you’d like to Talk to a PT on the Phone or want schedule a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Visit to see if we may be able to help you with your specific problem…just click on the link to let us know!
Best in Health,
Dr. Julie Krueger
"Helping active adults overcome persistent aches, pains and injuries, so they can get back to the activities they love and improve their health naturally - without pain medication, injections or surgery."
Oregon City, OR
Dr. Julie Krueger