How Physical Therapy Helps These 3 Chronic Conditions

We often think of physical therapy as helping with injuries, post-surgery, elderly, or chronic pain. However, depending on their specialty, physical therapists can treat many medical conditions that extend past the most common reasons for physical therapy treatment. For many chronic medical conditions, physical therapy helps restore or improve mobility and movement, control movement, and reduce the need for prescription medication and surgery. There are many benefits of physical therapy in helping chronic conditions, such as MS and Huntington’s disease, among many others.

1. Stroke Recovery

Strokes affect nearly 800,000 people per year in the US and are one of the leading causes of death. Surviving a stroke usually means being affected by it for the rest of your life. These effects can vary from case to case depending on the severity of the stroke. For example, some stroke survivors will only experience temporary isolated muscle weakness. However, 2/3 of survivors will have to live with a lifelong disability.

How Physical Therapy Helps

A physical therapist will help a stroke survivor gain mobility and treat any pain. They will teach you how to move safely and how to perform certain exercises that will help you regain functionality and mobility. A physical therapy plan may include learning how to live a lifelong disability, improvements in balance and walking, and how to exercise properly. Physical therapy stroke specialists will also teach you how to use devices that can assist you with your movement, such as canes and wheelchairs.

2. Parkinson’s Disease

Like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease is a common degenerative brain disorder that affects mostly aging adults. It affects motor skills and movement, making it difficult to maintain mobility and independence. The disease can cause a slow decline in the ability to move and think or it may progress rapidly. It can cause difficulty walking, muscle stiffness or rigidity, muscle discomfort and pain, poor balance and instability, and poor posture. It also causes a high risk of falling.

How Physical Therapy Helps

Physical therapy can help you manage your symptoms and adapt to your progressing condition. A physical therapist will examine your posture, strength, mobility, movement, flexibility, motor skills and coordination, and balance. Depending on the evaluation and your condition, your physical therapist will then create a plan for you to improve strength and flexibility. Physical therapy can help you learn how to move with your condition, eventually helping you get out of bed and chairs. It will decrease the risk of falling as it focuses on balance and coordination, as well as the ability to move and remain mobile.

3. Multiple Sclerosis

MS is a challenging and complex disease to treat as there is a wide range of symptoms that can vary greatly between individuals. MS can affect movement control and mobility, among other things. It can cause difficulty walking, moving, and breathing. Because it can affect coordination and movement, people who suffer from MS have a greater risk of falling, which can cause other injuries. In general, those who suffer from MS also suffer from a lack of mobility.

How Physical Therapy Helps 

Physical therapy offers the same benefits as it does to someone suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. A physical therapist will work with each individual to improve strength, walking ability, and balance to help lower the risk of falls and improve mobility. Physical therapy can also help increase physical activity to a level that is comfortable for the patient. Improving movement, balance, and coordination are the main focuses of physical therapy for someone who suffers from MS.