Physical therapy is available for treating back and neck pain, injuries, or conditions. Therapists examine patients’ medical histories, test and measure strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration, and motor function. Next, they develop treatment plans that include treatment goals, steps, and anticipated outcomes. During a course of treatment, physical therapists document the patient’s progress, conduct periodic examinations, and modify treatments as necessary.
For patients who have been immobilized and lack flexibility, strength, or endurance, treatment often includes exercise. Physical therapy encourages patients to use their own muscles to further increase flexibility and range of motion before finally advancing to other exercises improving strength, balance, coordination, and endurance.
To relieve pain and reduce swelling, physical therapy often includes the use of modalities, or passive techniques, such as electrical stimulation, hot packs or cold compresses, and ultrasound. Traction or deep-tissue massage may also be used to relieve pain. When necessary, therapists teach patients to use assistive and adaptive devices (such as crutches) and frequently teach patients exercises to do at home to expedite their recovery.
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.