New Trends in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

The field of Physical Therapy has made substantial advancements in recent years. Most recently, there has been a collective shift from long periods of bed rest following injury or surgery in favor of an immediate bout of Physical Therapy care. This is due to the published research which shows that this practice is safe and leads to a quicker recovery.

The modern Physical Therapist aggressively places the patient into active movement, stretching and strengthening while staying within the envelope of healing and function. This has shown to safely return the patient to their prior level of function more quickly than the outdated practice of rest and bracing. Recent studies show that an active recovery post injury leads to a stronger and quicker recovery vs a passive approach.

Gone are the days of weeks of rest, bracing or slings post operatively. Current best evidence supports immediate participation in an active rehabilitation program headed by a Physical Therapist. The theory of “use it or lose it” is most applicable in this case and Doctors want the patient to starting building up strength and regaining range of motion as soon as possible.

In the past, some physical therapy treatments regiments were based on heat and cold packs, ultrasound, iontophoresis or shock therapy but the truth of the matter is that these alone do not correct or fix the problem at hand. The modern Physical Therapist takes a predominantly hands on approach, relying heavily on manual therapy techniques to target the source of the pain and limitation. This method has a positive effect on patient relaxation, flexibility, strength and pain relief.

The modern Physical Therapist may favor a bit of pain and discomfort verses trying to avoid it. The field of Physical Therapy has shifted to a Doctorate degree in recent years and your Therapist has an intricate understanding and knowledge of the bodies’ inner structure as well as capacity to heal. Things such as back, neck, wrist braces, splints, canes or crutches still have their place in certain circumstances but are now used a little as possible in the Physical Therapy realm as they can cause the body to become weaker when used over a period of time.

Our modern Hawaii Physical Therapists have adopted and long-practiced this philosophy and have among the most satisfied patients.

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