“Rest is not the answer. Activity and therapy help healing most” – Joerg Teichmann

Most of us are familiar with the practice of physical therapy. Many of us have been to a physical therapist. And some see a physical therapist on an almost regular basis.

But few patients can adequately define or explain physical therapy.

However, many of them can tell you of their experiences with physical therapy – both good and bad – and the various degrees of results they’ve experienced at the hands of physical therapists. This is not to say that physical therapy nor therapists are lacking in knowledge, training, and ability. 

In fact, physical therapists are required to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree as a prerequisite to entering the occupation, and all states require physical therapists to be licensed.

Nonetheless, there are many frequently asked questions that people have about physical therapy.

Addressing Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Physical Therapy and Therapists

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

“Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, care for people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from back and neck injuries; sprains, strains, and fractures; arthritis; amputations; neurological disorders, such as stroke or cerebral palsy; injuries related to work and sports; and other conditions.”

How Do They Treat Patients?

 Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to care for their patients. These techniques include exercises; training in functional movement, which may include the use of equipment such as canes, crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers; and special movements of joints, muscles, and other soft tissue to improve mobility and decrease pain.

Are Physical Therapists Doctors?

Physiatrists are physicians who have completed medical school plus four years of residency training and, as such, are medical doctors. On the other hand, physical therapists are not medical doctors but are simply trained in the clinical features of common musculoskeletal pathology, musculoskeletal examination, developing a treatment plan and exercise regimen, and physical modalities (including heat, cold, TENS).

Physiatrists make and manage medical diagnoses and prescribe the therapies that physical therapists will subsequently perform. 

Is Physical Therapy Considered Alternative Medicine?

Clinical physical therapy is a subset of the field of physical medicine or physiatry. Consequently, it is not considered “alternative medicine.” As one source notes,

“The field of physiatry, also called physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), is a branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of patients who have been disabled from a disease, condition, disorder, or injury, primarily using physical means, including non-surgical methods such as physical therapy and medication to treat the patient.”

Is Physical Therapy Effective for Relieving Chronic Pain?

Physical therapists work together with chronic pain patients to lessen their pain and restore their activity to the highest possible levels. With treatment, the adverse effects of chronic pain can be reduced. And according to WebMD,

“Physical therapy is often one of the best choices you can make when you have long-term pain (also called chronic pain) or an injury. It can make you stronger and help you move and feel better.“

Does Physical Therapy Make Use of Soft Tissue Therapy?

Physical therapists specialize in the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of movement function disorders and implementing soft tissue mobilization techniques is just one of the strategies used to help patients meet their functional goals.

Is Active Release Techniques® Used by Physical Therapists?

With the proper training and certification, physical therapists, massage therapists, and doctors often use Active Release Techniques®, or ART®, to treat a variety of chronic and acute pain problems. However, because of the additional training and education required to fully and correctly implement the vast array of techniques provided with ART®, not many physical therapists pursue certification.

Active Release Techniques® with Pain and Performance Solutions: Beyond Physical Therapy

At Pain and Performance Solutions, we specialize in the use of Active Release Techniques® for our patients in treating their chronic pain issues.

We apply unique diagnostic and treatment skills and integrate them with the manual palpation of soft-tissue regions, with the goal of tracing an affected area to its true origin.

By making use of ART®’s integrated approach, we are able to bring about an average improvement in more than 80 percent of our patients in just five or fewer visits. In fact, we have many cases in which patients leave their first visit already experiencing a substantial decrease in pain.

How does it work?

By applying a combination of pressure and tension and initiating active movement by the client, stress-induced collagen fiber build-ups and scar tissue are broken down. This produces a dramatic restoration of the normal range of motion and blood flow with the result being pain-free movement, endurance, and strength.

Finding Relief from Pain with Pain and Performance Solutions

If you are suffering from lingering or chronic pain, you may have found that traditional physical therapy may have helped but only to a point. This is not the fault of the therapists, however, but simply the nature of clinical physical therapy methods.

An effective alternative begins by making an appointment with Pain and Performance Solutions for a free 15-minute consultation.

Whether you’ve been suffering from chronic pain for a long time or have just begun to realize that you have joint or muscle pain that is not going away, give us a call. Chronic pain relief can begin once we gain an in-depth understanding of when and how your joint pain started.

During your first appointment with Pain and Performance Solutions, we will work with you to learn about your present symptoms as well as any other history of discomfort.

We specialize in bringing relief from chronic pain with therapies including Active Release Techniques® (ART®) and Anatomy in Motion (AiM). And this relief begins once we understand where your pain originates.

A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to improved health and life. And your trust in us is key, as is your honesty because getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.

Don’t simply ignore your pain and hope that trying different medications might make it “go away.” Let us help. Contact us today at 707-636-4404 or book an appointment online to start your recovery process