We often hear about physical therapy, usually only in the context of something that may be able to help a resident of Flint Ridge and elsewhere with their pain.
But not everyone knows that physical therapy can offer additional benefits as well, whether someone is in great health or in less good health, including those receiving 24-hour care.
As part of the home health services offered by Accredited Home Care, our clients can receive physical therapy especially if their health care provider recommends it for their particular medical condition.
When this happens, a skilled physical therapist will visit the client’s home to provide a variety of services through this type of therapy, including help with:
- Pain relief and pain management
- Different types of motion to help different parts of the body perform better
- Restoring function and abilities to parts of the body that may have been damaged due to injury or trauma
- Teaching exercises that can be done when the physical therapist isn’t there.
- Relaxing muscles, which reduce stress and provide a mental boost
- Improving strength, flexibility, and balance in specific areas or the whole body
Regular physical therapy is often recommended if someone has lost some of their physical movement and mobility in part of their body, such as a limb that may have been damaged. Perhaps someone injured them in a car accident or suffered a medical incident like a stroke. Or in some cases, they may have experienced paralysis that can affect even more of the body than just an arm or leg.
Therapy can help regain some or even all of these lost abilities, depending on the type of damage, how often therapy takes place, and how long the service will be offered.
Many providers also recommend physical therapy as a good first step to help with healing rather than surgery, which often can be riskier.
Physical therapists through Accredited Home Care can also help share information with other caregivers and therapists about the client’s condition and ways they can all combine efforts to help boost his or her quality of life.
For instance, Accredited Home Care also offers massage therapy, where a trained massage therapist can help relax tired muscles and improve circulation and blood flow. As a physical therapist helps with their particular skills by utilizing muscles or re-learning some lost abilities, the massage therapist can help with hands-on activities.
Massage is also connected to other benefits such as improving mental health and emotional health, plus overall pain management and reduced stress.
Or, a physical therapist can confer with an occupational therapist for additional benefits and improvements.
While a physical therapist focuses on certain functions of the body, such as helping someone to learn to walk or re-learn how to use certain muscles, an occupational therapist helps the person learn or relearn specific skills.
For instance, an occupational therapist may help someone to learn to walk with a cane or walker through their house. Or how to get in and out of bed without hurting themselves.
While occupational therapy can be available for injured people to learn skills so they can go back to their current job or at least learn skills for a new job, it also can be used in a home health care setting to help people learn skills for independent living.
This can also include grooming, bathing, cooking, and getting around the home safely. An occupational therapist can also help people examine their homes for possible safety hazards. They can also work with a physical therapist to discuss the client’s condition, such as different areas to focus on.
Learning more in 2021
There’s never a bad opportunity to learn about the role that physical therapists can play or how you can learn to be one yourself.
But there are times of the year when the industry is encouraged to share information about their profession with potential clients, the public, and other caregivers.
For instance, the American Physical Therapy Association commemorates National Physical Therapy Month each October. It’s an occasional every fall to spread the word about the benefits of physical therapy and encourage people to give it a try.
The APTA site also offers resources all year long, including highlighting the accomplishments of members. There’s also a directory that can be used to find APTA members around the country. These all have agreed to follow certain principles to be a member.
Although in-person industry events are on hold for health reasons there are also ways to network with others in the business.
In Canada, National Physiotherapy Month is celebrated in May. The terms are fairly interchangeable – both professions require a thorough study of the mechanics of the human body, although some say that physiotherapists focus more on manual therapy like stretching and release, while physical therapists focus more on ways to build up muscles and improve balance through exercise.
Like the APTA focus in the U.S., the Canadian version has the same goals of improving education and awareness.
All of these areas can boost a client’s quality of life, which also can be celebrated in January.