Communication, Positivity, Preventative Maintenance
Physical therapy is a crucial step in the treatment and recovery of a variety
of diseases and medical procedures. It has roots going as far back as
460 BC, when it’s believed physicians like Hippocrates advocated
massage and hydrotherapy treatments for their patients. In the eighteenth
century, a breakthrough was introduced to the Orthopedic community when
the Gymnasticon, similar to a stationary bicycle, was developed and paved
the way for modern physical therapy treatments.
It has grown leaps and bounds since the days of Hippocrates and the Gymnasticon,
but the foundation of physical therapy remains unwavering. Physical therapists
seek to treat pain, disease, or injury by physical means, without drugs
or surgery. “Every diagnosis is unique, but there are many patients
who successfully avoid surgery by strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility,
and improving joint health with exercise,” says Cindy Murray, Director
of Rehabilitation at OrthoTexas’ Plano, Frisco and Dr. Pepper Starscenter
locations. Many physical therapists even offer preventative screenings
to identify high-risk individuals in specific sports and general fitness
populations. Once areas of concern are identified, they can provide exercise
recommendations to decrease the risk of injury.
Although preventative maintenance works well, sometimes an injury can’t
be avoided. When an injury requires surgery, many patients can improve
their recovery time with pre-operative therapy. “Physical therapists
deal with movement dysfunction, so we’re addressing inflamed and
injured areas, which are usually quite painful,” explains Michael
Cox, Director of Rehabilitation at Ortho Texas’ Carrolton location.
“Many patients haven't been moving the injured body part because
of the pain, or per instruction from their doctor. This lack of movement
causes increased stiffness, and pain with movement.” Pre-operative
therapy can help enhance your body’s recovery process by improving
the health of the affected area, before the stress of surgery is incurred.
Once a patient enters therapy, whether its preventative, or post operation,
they should look to their physical therapist for a plan. “Since
we can’t cure the human body overnight,” Murray clarifies,
“it’s our job to help patients understand the recovery process,
so they have clear expectations.”
When patients undergo surgery, they place their trust and expectations
in the hands of their surgeon. At OrthoTexas, the doctor-patient relationship
doesn’t end when physical therapy begins. The patient journey at
OrthoTexas is a unique one, because by housing the physical therapy clinics,
doctors and therapists are able to work hand-in-hand to give their patients
a cohesive recovery plan. Murray and Cox specialize in Orthopedics and
Sports Medicine, and have spent over 30 cumulative years rehabilitating
patients at OrthoTexas’ owned and operated physical therapy clinics.
“Communication is a necessity to an effective rehabilitation experience,”
Cox explains. “For example, if a problem or question arises during
therapy, we can seamlessly contact the patient's physician for a consultation;
ensuring there is no time lost in the recovery process,” adds Murray.
Whether you choose to begin your journey to recovery with a seasoned OrthoTexas
physical therapist, or you choose another clinic, its important to keep
a few things in mind. “The patient needs to remember they play a
major role in their recovery,” reminds Murray. Staying motivated
to reach your goals and improve your condition is key. Compliance with
activity modification and home exercise programs will ensure you are successful
with your therapy. “Above all,” says Cox, “stay positive.”
People who are positive tend to recover much more quickly than those who
focus solely on their pain.