Physical therapy is a part of rehabilitative healthcare. Other examples of rehabilitative healthcare are occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, cognitive therapy and mental health rehabilitation services. Physical therapy is where you work with trained and licensed professionals who use special equipment to diagnose, exercise and treat your conditions.
A physical therapist is going to evaluate your condition, whether that is an injury, disease or a disability, and they’ll provide a treatment plan to help you based on your criteria. Physical therapy is a treatment for a variety of health conditions, and can help restore or maintain physical function and mobility in patients that may have mobility issues.
Licensed physical therapists often work alongside other medical teams—whether they work in rehabilitation centers, sports and fitness centers, or even hospitals and schools. Some conditions that physical therapists such as the ones at AmeriWell treat are well known but others are not. So we’ll touch base on conditions a physical therapist can help you with.
Your physical therapist can help with neurological disorders, genetic disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, or even something as common as vertigo. Physical therapists also work extensively with burn victims in some cases. This is because burn victims may find it hard to exercise, they may need help.
Exercise Is Important for Burn Victims
Burn victims may be burned so badly that they lose a lot of their independence. This is a problem, occupational and physical therapists may work together to individualize exercise programs that are tailored to where a burn victim is at in their recovery.
Exercises and activities included in this individualized plans may be cardiovascular, strength training, stretching to further prevent contractures of joints, or just playing in leisure activities that the person enjoyed prior to being burned. Furthermore, you may find yourself working with a physical therapist just to learn to eat, get dressed, groom yourself, bathe, or go to the toilet on your own again. That’s okay, that’s what they’re there for.
With burn injuries, patients may complain that their skin feels tight and their skin does not want to move. This feeling is very real and it’s very normal. This is because burned skin heals and as it heals it shrinks and becomes very tight. Did you know that burned skin is going to be the tightest and stiffest right after you wake up? This is because we don’t move when we’re sleeping, not enough to keep skin from getting tight.
So your therapist will teach you stretches and other ways to get your skin to feel looser.
Some Exercises You Can Do
If you have burns on your face, your therapist might tell you to make funny faces first thing in the morning. If you’ve got burns on your neck, you’ll want to look to the right, look to the left, look up, look down, and watch tv with your neck stretched over a pillow. Arms and hands and legs are often treated with jumping jacks, lifting weights, making fists, practicing your writing, holding utensils, bouncing a ball, walking, running or riding a bike.
Talk to your physical therapist about what treatment is best for you.