Physical therapy includes many different treatment methods. Stretching, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, core exercises, weight lifting, along with the use of both hot and cold elements. Physical therapists also include walking and repetitive movements they use in their everyday life to help rebuild a patient's strength and endurance during the healing process. Physical therapy uses whatever exercises and activities are best suited to the patient and will produce the best results. In most cases, therapists will use several different healing techniques to help the patient regain their strength and elicit a complete healing response.
Physical therapy is used to help a patient regain their strength after a traumatic illness or injury. If a patient has been incapacitated for several weeks or months, they will have lost muscle tone and their mobility will be greatly reduced. Physical therapists help the patient perform specific exercises that are designed to help regain strength and tone in areas of the body where it has been lost. The therapist can use many different tools to improve the healing process. If a patient has lost the use of a body part due to amputation or paralysis, the therapist can help them learn new ways of performing everyday tasks.
Physical therapy sessions normally only last one or two hours at a time. The severity of a person's injury or illness will determine how many sessions are needed for the patient to regain full, or at least the maximum, use of the injured area. A person who only needs to strengthen muscles or regain their range of motion and mobility may require a minimal number of visits. A person who must relearn how to walk or perform certain daily activities may require several months worth of physical therapy to regain their prior state of health. A person's commitment to improving will often be the determining factor as to how long it takes for them to fully recover from their injury.