The main goal of physical therapy is to restore your function and mobility, and eliminate or minimize your pain so you can get back to your normally active lifestyle. In fact, as experts in the way the body moves, physical therapists help people of all ages and abilities reduce pain, improve or restore mobility, and stay active and fit throughout life. While some people might that the tasks are daunting, or the equipment difficult to use, the overwhelmingly positive results for patient recovery should soften any fears about physical therapy.
A customized physical therapy program can help individuals return to their prior level of functioning, and encourage activities and lifestyle changes that can help prevent further injury, and improve overall health and well-being. Primary care doctors often refer patients for physical therapy at the first sign of a problem, since it is considered a traditional and non-invasive approach to managing problems.
Most physical therapy uses a combination of techniques to relieve pain and boost coordination, strength, endurance, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical therapists (PTs) often ask patients to use exercise equipment like bikes and treadmills. However, other equipment like using resistance bands, medicine balls, and foam rollers can be confusing if someone doesn’t instruct you on what they are and how to use them. Here is a guide on physical therapy equipment, and why it is not scary once you know how to use it.
1. Medicine Ball: The importance of a medicine ball is that it helps with strength, coordination, and balance. The medicine ball comes in a variety of colors, sizes, and weights. It is beneficial to start with the lightest and move up in weight as you get the hang of it while doing your exercises.
2. Foam Roller: In physical therapy, foam rollers are a crucial part in relieving tension and pain. If you have sore muscles, the foam roller gets out all the tension. The foam roller comes in different sizes and colors. Most importantly, it’s important to understand that foam rolling is uncomfortable at first, essentially due to getting knots out of your body. Listen to your body, and know your limits.
3. Resistance bands: Resistance bands are lightweight and can be taken anywhere. During physical therapy, resistance bands vary in tension, color, and thickness. Whatever style and color you use in physical therapy should be the one to use at home, if instructed.
Always consult your physical therapist at Tucson Orthopaedic Institute on how to use your new equipment before using it yourself. Exercising freely whenever you want in your home can be tantalizing, but exercising improperly could set you back weeks on your path to recovery. Mastering these tools will accelerate your recovery and get you back to your old self.
To learn more about physical therapy and the equipment used, call Tucson Orthopaedic Institute at our East Tucson office at (520) 784-6200, Northwest Tucson office at (520) 382-8200, or Oro Valley office at (520) 544-9700. To request an appointment, you can call or use our secure online appointment request form.