5 Newer Age Physical Therapy Techniques You Can Benefit From
Physical therapy is a practice that is always changing to take into account new research. PT used to be thought of as mostly helpful for older people, people recovering from surgery, or people with serious musculoskeletal problems. Now, the practice is used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems and even to prevent pain and injuries from happening. Modern physical therapy can help everyone, from people who work at desk jobs to the best athletes in the world.
We broke down some of the most cutting-edge treatments that many people don’t know about, but could probably benefit from, to help you understand the different kinds of new treatments that are out there.
Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFR)
Blood Flow Restriction Therapy is gaining popularity in the worlds of physical therapy and fitness as a way to help people recover faster and better. This strength-training method is good for anyone who wants to get stronger and have more muscle endurance, but it is especially good for people who can’t handle heavy weight loads, such as the elderly, people with chronic diseases, or those recovering from an injury or surgery.
The idea behind BFR therapy is that an elastic band or cuff stops some of the blood from going from a limb back to the heart. This blockage prevents oxygen from getting to the muscles and causes blood to pool. This is similar to what happens after a high-intensity workout, which helps to make muscles grow. So, even if patients use lighter weights, they can still build muscle.
Because BFR therapy can make you stronger with less weight, it is a very effective and safe treatment when done under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
Trigger Point Dry Needling
Dry needling might be just what you need if you have aches, pains, tight muscles, or pulled muscles that won’t go away. Myofascial trigger points are knots that can form in muscles when they are overworked or strained. They can cause pain, stiffness, and other problems. In dry needling, a therapist puts a hair-thin monofilament needle into a trigger point in a muscle. This causes the muscle to contract and relax, which relieves the trigger point and often causes the brain to release endorphins. Patients often feel better after just one dry needling session, and others gradually feel less muscle pain after only a few sessions.
It’s important to know that Dry Needling is very different from acupuncture, which is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Dry needling is based on research and scientific ideas from Western medicine. Trigger Point Dry Needling has become a popular way for high-level athletes to treat muscle pain quickly, but more and more people with everyday muscle pain are also getting relief from it.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Many people, especially women who are pregnant or have just given birth, deal with urinary or bowel incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and pelvic pain. It can be hard to talk about these symptoms, and there isn’t much information out there about how to treat them. People who have these symptoms often don’t know that a trained physical therapist can probably help them.
Physical therapy for pelvic floor problems is becoming more common as an effective way to treat pelvic pain and other problems with the pelvic floor. A licensed physical therapist will do an evaluation to find out what is causing the problem. They will then make a custom treatment plan for you that includes education, exercises that strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles, and manual therapy to help you feel confident and free of pain.
Physical Therapy for Headaches and Jaw Pain
We’ve all had headaches, but most of the time they go away quickly and are nothing to worry about. Most headaches can be treated by drinking water, eating, resting, or taking over-the-counter pain medicine. However, if a headache is severe or lasts for several days or weeks, it may need more treatment.
Physical therapy can help with many different kinds of headaches that are more severe or last longer. A physical therapy program for headaches might include manual therapy, exercises, stretches to relieve pressure, education on correct posture and biomechanics, and even Trigger Point Dry Needling when it’s helpful.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder can cause headaches and other symptoms like jaw pain, trouble chewing or swallowing, pain behind the eyes, or neck pain (TMD). TMD is a common condition that makes it hard for the jaw to work normally. It can be caused by a number of things, but luckily a trained physical therapist can treat it.
A physical therapist can help by showing you how to hold your jaw, head, neck, breastbone, and shoulder blades correctly in different positions. They can also use manual therapy to improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility, break up scar tissue, and get muscles and joints in and around the jaw back to working order. A therapist will also show you how to do special exercises to strengthen the jaw muscle and get it moving more like it used to.
OC Sports and Therapy are TMJ Treatment specialists.
Vestibular and Balance Therapy
Vestibular disorders, which include vertigo, dizziness, and other balance and spatial problems, can affect all parts of a person’s life and make them afraid to do things like driving or doing chores around the house that most people do without thinking. Physical therapists can help figure out what’s wrong by doing tests like a movement and balance screen and evaluating the visual and vestibular systems. In order to find out what’s wrong, the tests will measure sensations, muscle strength, range of motion in the extremities and spine, coordination, posture, balance, and the ability to walk.
Based on what the therapist finds, the patient will start a custom exercise-based treatment plan to help reduce symptoms and get to the root of the problem for good. They will also give you ways to recognize and get rid of your symptoms when doing everyday things like driving or going for a walk. Having a vestibular disorder can be frustrating, but physical therapists can help you get back to moving with confidence.