Injuries and surgeries are absolutely no fun, and healing from them can be painful.  However, it’s important to do this hard work to restore proper functioning to your area of concern and prevent injuries from reoccurring.  If you’ve heard that you should see a physical therapist, you’re probably wondering what the experience is like and how it can help you.  Here’s what you need to know about physical therapy.

What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy uses a variety of body movements to restore range of motion and strengthen the joints, muscles, and tissues of your problem area.  You will work through these exercises with the help of a physical therapist at their facility.  Most of the movements are simple stretches you complete with your own body weight, but depending on your needs, you may also use weight equipment or other items such as stretch bands and exercise balls.  Most patients will visit the physical therapist two or three times per week and be expected to complete some exercises at home every day.

How Does Physical Therapy Help?
It may not feel necessary to attend physical therapy after your injury or surgery, but it can be more helpful than you think.  Even though your body will heal without physical therapy, it may heal by creating excessive scar tissue.   This scar tissue is weaker than healthy tissue and is also less flexible. For example, although your elbow may no longer hurt when you bend it, you likely won’t be able to bend it as far as you could before the injury. And, if you injure the same area again, the damage may be worse and even harder to heal.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Physical Therapy
If you are learning about physical therapy because of an upcoming surgery, you may have heard about inpatient physical therapy and outpatient physical therapy.  When discussing inpatient physical therapy, this is the therapy you’ll receive while still in the hospital in the hours and days after your procedure.  After you are cleared to go home, you’ll begin outpatient therapy. During this phase, you will regularly visit a physical therapist to practice exercises and restore health and function to your body.  These visits may occur in a clinic that is part of the hospital, or you may visit a separate facility.  Both sites will be able to help you heal and recover, so the choice is up to you. 

Looking for Outpatient Physical Therapy?
Here at Advanced Surgical Hospital, we offer outpatient physical therapy for patients from all over the Pittsburgh region.  Our physical therapists are highly knowledgeable and genuinely care about your health and comfort.  Please give us a call or contact us online to schedule a physical therapy consultation, schedule a visit to get familiar with our facility, or ask any questions you may have.  We’ll be happy to help!