Patients of all ages may benefit from physical therapy in Mission Viejo.
If your goals include managing pain better, restoring function, and improving overall quality of life, you may benefit from various forms of physical therapy. Because physical therapy in Mission Viejo can be personalized to fit individual needs and goals, most people are able to benefit from this type of specialized rehabilitative care to some extent.
Various orthopedic conditions, sports-related injuries, and chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia are among the possible reasons PT may be recommended. Here are some other specific reasons to consider physical therapy.
Following an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or similar soft tissue injury affecting joints, the affected part of the body will need time to heal and recover. Gentle stretches and exercises, coupled with the application of cold and heat and other PT techniques, can promote healing by reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and minimizing the formation of scar tissue. If surgery is necessary to correct joint or soft tissue damage, an individualized rehab program can recondition muscles and joints.
Physical therapy in Mission Viejo may help arthritis sufferers see improvements with joint flexibility and mobility. PT treatment plans for this purpose often include exercises that strengthen and support key muscle groups while also realigning joints. Certain techniques may also naturally ease the inflammation that often makes arthritis symptoms more noticeable.
Sports Injury Prevention
PT isn’t only something that’s recommended following an injury. Physical therapy programs can also be preventative in nature. A common example of this is treatments aimed at preventing sports injuries or helping athletes remain in top form. In addition to techniques that correct micro-traumas or minor injuries, PT for sports injury prevention may also involve:
- Stretching routines
- PT exercises targeting core muscle groups
- Joint conditioning
Hours of sitting or standing in the same position can take a toll on various parts of the spine, usually around the lower back area. Poor posture habits can also affect joints, soft tissues, the neck, and various joints and muscle groups. Physical therapy in Mission Viejo for this purpose may involve recommendations on how to improve posture, home exercise recommendations, and PT sessions with postural exercises that restore the body’s natural alignment. Deep tissue massages may also be done to relieve muscle tensions in areas affected by posture-related issues.
Acute or Chronic Pain
If acute, or sudden, pain is felt during a workout or while going about daily activities, some initial rest and home remedies may be all that’s necessary. But if pain isn’t going away after a few days, early intervention and various physical therapy techniques may prevent the problem from becoming serious. Initial treatment of acute injuries that may include soft tissue sprains and strains or fractures is primarily focused on reducing inflammation. Depending on the location of the injury, temporary bracing may be recommended to limit movement as tissues heal. Also, gentle exercises may be performed to prevent issues with range of motion from developing.
For times when pain has reached a point where it’s chronic, defined as lasting three to six months or more, a physical therapist can perform tests to identify the source so safe, appropriate treatments can be recommended. Chronic pain presents some unique challenges, especially if symptoms have been experienced for several months without significant relief. Some patients benefit from reconditioning exercises that target weakened muscle groups, while others see improvements with a combination of therapeutic PT modalities such as hot and cold therapy, traction, joint mobilization. If land-based exercises are too stressful for chronic pain sufferers, water-based physical therapy routines may be suggested.
Repetitive-Use Injuries or Conditions
More than half of all injuries affecting athletes are repetitive use injuries. Repetitive motions performed while working or performing certain daily routines can also contribute to pain from inflammation-based conditions like tendinitis and bursitis. For some patients, repeatedly over-stressing joints or soft tissues contributes to conditions that result in a loss of motion or pain affected by certain movements, as may be the case with tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome. A physical therapist can help by identifying the activities or actions that are likely triggering symptoms. PT treatment for repetitive motion injuries or conditions may include:
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Electrical stimulation to improve circulation and muscle function
- Joint manipulation
- Passive stretching
- Active and passive range-of-motion exercises
- Strengthening and stabilization exercises after range of motion improves
Physical therapy in Mission Viejo can be effective for children and seniors, as well. For example, adolescents sometimes develop issues with abnormal sideways spinal curvature (scoliosis) or knee pain related to growth spurts (Osgood-Schlatter disease) that sometimes improves with a customized muscle strengthening program. Older adults with balance disorders might see improvements with coordination, mobility, and range of motion exercises or a combination of therapeutic and participation-based techniques.