What Therapy is Best for Me?

different types of physical therapy treatments

When it comes to injury and pain, many Americans are opting for alternative forms of management. Particularly, therapy as a way to manage and heal pain and injury has become increasingly popular. However, it may be difficult to determine what therapy is best for you. Becoming familiar with the different kinds of therapy available will help you choose the best course.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has gained popularity and notoriety within just the past couple of years. Used to be thought of as simply rehab for sports injuries, it has vastly expanded to include a successful alternative way to manage pain. By using exercise science and biomechanics, physical therapists work to diagnose the root cause of an injury and/or pain. They then create a program to help you recover from an injury or manage pain. They will also work to prevent reoccurring injuries or pain. A physical therapy program includes appropriate exercises that strengthen the right muscles.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy has always been a popular alternative to traditional medicine. It’s a hands-on technique, including massages, manipulations, and adjustments. Often, physical therapists become specialists in different forms of manual therapy. They will also incorporate different techniques into an overall program.

Is chiropractic care part of manual therapy? Chiropractic care includes manipulations and adjustments by a doctor of chiropractic care. Chiropractors work specifically with spinal manipulations. Physical therapists are not chiropractors but offer a different form of manual therapy.  Some people may choose to go to a chiropractor and a physical therapist for their pain management, but the two do not often work jointly.


Cryotherapy is the application of ice to help soothe pain from an injury or condition. It’s often used in conjunction with other forms of therapy, particularly physical therapy. Although icing an injury has been around for decades, cryotherapy is a relatively new therapy with clinics and specialists devoted to the science. Cryotherapy often refers to a whole-body treatment through submerged ice baths or stepping into a deep-freezing tank. However, it can also be localized through the simple application of an ice pack for several minutes.

Specialty Rehabilitation

Specialty rehabilitation often refers to such techniques as Graston, dry-needling, cupping, and acupuncture. Similar to manual therapy, it’s used by physical therapists who further specialize in these types of rehabilitation. They often use it as part of an overall program for a patient. Graston and the use of needles can help relieve pain, stress, and pressure, which can aid in the healing process of an injury. It can also help relieve pain from medical conditions.

How To Choose The Best Treatment

Even with knowing about the different kinds of therapies available, it may still be difficult to determine what’s the best course of action. Many traditional doctors will recommend certain kinds of therapy over others. Some specialty doctors will choose a therapy based on your circumstances. Physical therapists, in particular, work to not only diagnose the root cause of an injury and pain but also help you decide on the right therapy for you.

Physical therapy programs often incorporate other forms of therapy. They will also stay right alongside you to ensure that you are having success. OSR physical therapists in particular focus on your entire well-being, not just the injury or pain. They not only educate you and help you prevent future pain and injury, but they ensure you’re set up for life.