For decades, physical therapy has effectively helped patients overcome injuries and manage chronic pain. While it is true that there are age old exercises that physical therapists use, new innovations in physical therapy continue to deliver improved and cutting-edge techniques that lead to faster and better long-term results. If you need physical therapy, getting the best therapy possible is critical to your healing process. Here are five new innovations in physical therapy practice.
Starting Physical Therapy Sooner
A relatively recent innovation in physical therapy is that you are more likely to see the most benefit from physical therapy if you start sooner. In the past, physicians would have clients wait an extended period of time before starting physical therapy. Researchers found that this can reduce the effectiveness of physical therapy since you will be mostly healed before you start working on your body. Instead, physicians have patients start their physical therapy as soon as they are able to do so without endangering themselves. That way, your body will heal
according to your new physical needs rather than healing and then trying to make improvements.
Changes in Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is a mainstay in physical therapy since it reduces the load on your muscles. Water can make you nearly weightless while offering gentle resistance when you move. The result is an extremely low stress method of completing physical therapy exercises. New aquatic therapy centers upgraded their circulation systems and temperature controls to provide a better environment for physical therapy. Warmer water combined with better circulation keep your muscles loose and relaxed leading to a more effective workout.
Robotics and Muscle Training
The development of more advanced robotics is changing physical therapy for the better. You’ll likely need extensive muscle retraining if you have a serious accident. Your physical therapist may suggest a robotic training suit to help you. It attaches to your body like an exoskeleton and moves your body for you. That way, anyone that needs extensive physical therapy to regain control of their bodies can use a robotic suit to exercise multiple limbs simultaneously.
Communication is the Key
For physical therapy to be successful, people need to communicate more efficiently with physical therapists. New communication technologies like social media platforms make it easier to communicate between care teams and provide more detailed information about a patient’s activities. For example, you can take pictures of your physical therapy activities and put them on social media. Your physical therapist can analyze the pictures and offer suggestions for improvement. You can also get support from a large community of people, which can help your motivation and mental recovery.
Motivation is a major concern for physical therapists since it is easy and common for clients to lose the motivation to finish their physical therapy. Many patients see it as difficult and tedious, but gamification fixes that. Game systems like the Wii and XBox have motion capture systems and fitness games that physical therapists can use to keep patients interested in exercise. By switching patients to video games with motion capture systems, more patients complete their physical therapy and see better recovery results.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready for the latest and most innovative physical therapy treatments for your pain or injury, contact Manhattan Physical Therapy and Pain Center today at (212) 213-3480 to learn how we can help.