No matter whether you are young or old, accident or injury can strike at any time. As a result, there is likely to come a time in the life of every person when they will require the skills and expertise of a capable physical therapist. Through use of the latest manipulation techniques and physical therapy equipment, a therapist can in most cases reduce pain and discomfort and speed up your recovery.
So, what tools and technology do physical therapists use to help their patients get back to feeling themselves again? We took a look at some of the most common techniques being used by physical therapists today.
1. Treatment Tables
The most essential item in any physical therapist’s clinic is undoubtedly the treatment table. Many of the techniques that a therapist will employ require the patient to be in either sitting down or prostrate position. The best-quality tables will feature firm padding to keep patients comfortable during lengthy treatment sessions and be solid enough to bear the weight of heavier patients without rocking about.
2. Massage Tools
Many physical therapy treatments involve manual manipulation in the form of massage. Use of traditional hand techniques is often supplemented by techniques performed using massage tools. One tool which is commonly used by physical therapists is the TheraBand™ roller which helps to lengthen muscles and increase flexibility. Other tools include silicone roller balls and pneumatic percussion massage guns which can release tension.
The use of ultrasound equipment is commonly used in physical therapy to treat a wide range of injuries. Devices that emit ultrasound waves can help to identify areas of the body that are suffering from low blood flow and stress. Ultrasound can also relieve tightness and contracture in joints, speed the healing of ligament injuries and sprains, and treat muscle tears as well as tendonitis.
Isokinetic therapy was first developed in the 1970s and involves special exercise equipment that provides variable resistance to movements. The use of isokinetic machines or simpler silicone bands allows muscles to contract at constant speeds. These techniques work to strengthen tendons and ligament that have been weakened because of injury through repetitive actions performed under gradated increases in load and resistance.
5. Electric Muscle Stimulation
In cases where a patient has suffered an accident or a severe injury which keeps them immobile for a long time, muscle atrophy can become a major problem. When atrophy is regarded as a risk by a physical therapist, electric muscle stimulation devices and machines will be often be used to help build and strengthen muscles when a patient is not able to do any kind of alternative strength exercises.
Suffering accident or injury can be extremely stressful. While you may be keen to start your way on the long road to recovery, it is not uncommon to be apprehensive about seeking out a physical therapist. This article has sought to give you piece of mind by demystifying the common tools used by physical therapists and technology that underpins them.