Learning About the Virtues of Physical Therapy

Learning About the Virtues of Physical Therapy

October’s designation as National Physical Therapy Month serves as the perfect time to raise awareness about using physical therapy in place of opioids as a method of treating chronic pain conditions.

The American Physical Therapy Association states that a physical therapist is a licensed health care professional who are able to assist patients with pain relief and improve mobility – often without surgery and without the need for long-term use of side effect-causing medications. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient offices, nursing homes, schools, and more.

Physical therapists can help treat patients with many injuries/conditions, including:

  • Back pain, rotator cuff tears, knee injuries or surgeries
  • Neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries
  • Sports injuries such as concussion, sprained ankles and tennis elbow
  • Cardiopulmonary conditions, including cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Hand therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger

What to Expect

Patients seeing a physical therapist can expect the following:

  1. Physical exam and evaluation: This process includes a health history and evaluations of flexibility, posture, and muscle/joint motion and performance.
  2. Get a diagnosis: Additionally, patient will get a prognosis, plan of care and a collection of goals for both the short term and long term.
  3. Treatment: Therapist will provide treatment and intervention according to their evaluation and diagnosis of the patient.
  4. Self-management recommendations: Therapists often provide ideas for exercises patients can do at home to help them function.


Physical therapists can help patients:

  • Avoid surgery
  • Reduce the need for opioids through pain management
  • Prevent injuries in sports by analyzing biomechanics and ergonomics
  • Improve their mobility and range of motion
  • Recover from a trauma or injury
  • Reduce risk of falls

Talk with your doctor about a referral to physical therapy or call southeastern Med Sports Med & Rehabilitation at 740.439.8997 for more information.