Why Physical Therapy Is So Important For Rehabilitation

Physical therapy is designed to restore your mobility and complete the healing process after an injury or surgery. It’s also a very helpful tool for managing chronic (long-term) conditions such as arthritis.   

At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists in Bethesda, we tailor your physical therapy course to fit your specific needs and conditions. Whether you’re a young athlete who wants to get back in the game after a sprain or a seasoned warrior recovering from joint replacement, completing your program is integral to your successful recovery.

Physical therapy reduces and can eliminate pain

When your orthopedist says you’re ready for rehab, the therapeutic exercises and treatments we use in physical therapy, such as localized massage, specialized taping, electrical stimulation, heat/ice therapy, help relieve your pain and restore muscle and joint function that prevents pain from returning.

Physical therapy helps you regain mobility

When you’re recovering from an injury or surgery, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. However, it doesn’t take long for muscles, tendons, and other supportive soft tissue structures to weaken and tighten through disuse.

Or, when you’ve had a problem that worsens over time, such as rotator cuff issues in your shoulder or arthritis in your knee, you’ve likely lost mobility due to stiffness and pain.

The range of motion, strengthening, and flexibility exercises customized for your physical therapy program can essentially restore your ability to move normally. Strong, flexible muscles, tendons, and ligaments also protect your bones and joints from future damage.

Physical therapy restores balance

Your hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, spine, and other musculoskeletal structures are designed to work in tandem with one another when you sit, stand, walk, run, or perform other daily activities.

When you consciously or unconsciously favor a damaged area due to pain or stiffness, it can throw off the balance your body needs for optimal performance. Chronic knee pain, for instance, can throw your gait and posture out of alignment and lead to ankle, hip, and low back pain.

Your physical therapy program often includes exercises and therapies designed to restore balance by correcting a misaligned posture or gait, which naturally improves your mobility and decreases discomfort.   

Physical therapy can help prevent sport or overuse injuries

Our rehab specialists at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists are well-equipped to create a regimen that helps you recover from a current issue and prevent future injuries, such as stress fractures, runner’s knee, or tennis elbow.

Depending on your sport, we may assess and help you improve swing techniques, design an exercise program to improve ankle stability, or recommend appropriate shoe gear for your activity.

Physical therapy starts where you are and advances with you

Physical therapy is designed to begin slowly and progress as your recovery advances. It’s important to strike a balance, since overdoing can lead to re-injury or create a new problem and not working hard enough can significantly delay your healing process.

For instance, your first session may include passive range of motion exercises, when the therapist moves your joint for you, and a series of treatments that relieve muscle tension and promote circulation, such as therapeutic massage. You can then expect to advance to more challenging exercises and therapies that keep pace with your progress.

Your therapist also typically recommends home exercises to do between appointments that may change in type, frequency, or duration. It’s important to follow your therapist’s instructions since your home regimen is carefully designed to complement your in-office sessions.


Get back to moving pain-free again. Schedule your physical therapy evaluation at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists today.  

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