Physical Rehabilitation Center in Tucker
When an injury or affliction leaves you in pain or unable to do your usual activities, treating the source of your pain is an important concern. But you may also need help recovering your strength and abilities, especially after a serious injury or a situation where pain has made it difficult for you to move. A Tucker physical rehabilitation center like Optimum Health Rehab can help you recuperate and regain your strength, and in some cases, it can also help to treat the source of your pain.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
There are many reasons to consider a physical rehabilitation program to help with your pain and physical challenges. Here are some of the benefits of a Tucker physical rehabilitation plan:
Pain Relief Without Surgery
We meet a lot of patients who have painful conditions and struggle to get adequate relief. Their doctor may have tried a variety of prescription medications that either didn’t work well, or caused unbearable side effects. New information about the potential for addiction has led to a sharp drop in opioid prescriptions (a 44 percent decrease over the last decade). At the same time, many patients couldn’t take opioids anyway due to side effects like marked drowsiness and nausea.
Sometimes doctors recommend surgery for patients who have struggled with chronic pain that doesn’t respond well to other treatments. If you’ve received such advice, you might be wary of surgery. All operations carry risks, including infection, blood clots, bleeding, and nerve damage. While some patients ultimately have less pain after surgery, others may experience complications, including an increase in pain. You will also need to spend a long period of time regaining your strength in physical therapy after an operation.
However, researchers have found that physical therapy alone is just as effective at relieving pain as surgery followed by physical therapy for some painful conditions. In one study that followed patients with lumbar spinal stenosis, a common cause of lower back pain, patients who were willing to have surgery were divided into two groups. One group had surgery right away, then did physical therapy, while the other group did physical therapy first and postponed surgery. Both groups experienced a reduction in pain after about 10 weeks, and two years later, both cohorts had similar levels of pain relief and physical function. In other words, physical therapy alone was just as effective for diminishing pain and helping patients recover the ability to move as they did before. The group that had surgery also suffered more complications like infections and the need for more surgery.
We often see patients who want to try everything before attempting a risky surgery, which is certainly understandable. In many cases, our physical therapists work out a regimen to help relieve pain and strengthen appropriate muscle groups. Some patients improve so much that they don’t need surgery after all, but continue with physical rehabilitation and other therapies. Even when a patient does go on to have surgery, they benefit from strengthening muscles and improving flexibility before the operation.
Improving Mobility and Flexibility
Aside from pain, difficulty moving or getting around is another common reason that patients seek physical rehabilitation. Reduced mobility can have many causes, including arthritis, injuries, aging, nerve damage, or any kind of pain that limits movement. This may impact your ability to do normal activities around the house and make it difficult for you to work.
If you want to get back to your work, your hobbies, or your home life, Optimum Health Rehab may be able to help. Your therapist will ask you questions about your daily life, and the specific activities you now struggle to do. They may also perform diagnostic tests as needed to determine if additional therapies would be helpful (such as chiropractic adjustments for a spinal misalignment). After getting a clear picture of the cause of your challenges and your goals for improvement, the therapist will create a customized care plan for you. This may include some or all of the following:
- Exercises to target the specific muscle groups or areas where you’ve experienced diminished function
- Mobility aids like crutches or a cane prevent further injury while you work to recover your strength
- Stretching exercises to increase your flexibility
- Heat and cold therapies
- Exercises to improve your posture, which can contribute to pain and loss of function for some patients
- Neuromuscular reeducation, which helps to rebuild the function of nerves and muscles
- Core stabilization exercises can help prevent injuries and relieve stress on other parts of the spine and body
Preventing a Recurrence of Your Injury or Illness
Sometimes physical therapy or other treatments successfully heal an ailment, but it returns later on. This is more likely with some conditions than others, and often the risk of recurrence can be mitigated by physical therapy exercises designed for this purpose. Depending on the root cause of your pain, we may prescribe exercises to strengthen certain muscles and ligaments or reduce strain on some areas of the body. Or we might advise you about your posture or ergonomic sitting arrangements if these might help.
For example, if you’re recovering from sciatic nerve pain, we often find that ergonomic seating reduces the risk of recurrence, as sitting for much of the day at your job is a risk factor. We might also work with the patient to improve their posture and recommend exercises they can do at home to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. If a spinal misalignment or herniated disc contributed to the pain, we may schedule the patient to come in for periodic visits with our chiropractor and perform adjustments as needed. All of these steps can help keep the patient out of pain.
Other Health Benefits
When you aren’t able to move without pain, it’s natural to become sedentary. You may wish that you could go back to an active lifestyle, but pain prevents you from doing it. Unfortunately, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. When patients are able to begin exercising again through physical therapy, it can help reduce their risk, and many people see a decrease in blood pressure.
Physical Rehabilitation Options
Each personalized treatment plan is designed for the patient and their unique needs and goals. Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the treatment options your plan may include:
- Heat and cold therapies. We typically use heat before a workout to increase comfort for the patient, as well as to prepare the muscles for a workout. After a session, we’ll use cold therapy to decrease blood flow, lower the impact of microtears in the muscles, and reduce inflammation.
- Electrical stimulation. This is sometimes done for pain relief but may also be used to rehabilitate damaged muscles or nerves. Electrodes are utilized to deliver a low-volt current to the affected area.
- Therapeutic exercises are designed to restore function by strengthening the appropriate muscle groups and working through movements necessary for the activities you want to do.
- Neuromuscular reeducation helps you to return to doing your usual, controlled movements. Your therapist will prescribe a series of motions that will help you get there and work with you to ensure that you are using good form, which is very important to the success of these activities. Doing so allows you to retrain nerve signals and muscles to complete the tasks you performed previously.
- Joint and soft tissue manipulations. These are similar to chiropractic adjustments but can be performed on other joints and soft tissues as needed to reduce pain.
- Proprioceptive stretching. Your therapist will walk you through a series of exercises in which you stretch and contract affected muscles to increase flexibility. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to re-injure yourself.
- Core stabilization exercises. Building strong core muscles and ligaments helps to reduce the risk of injury in many parts of the body, including the back and legs. When core muscles are weak, patients are more inclined to suffer from back pain and poor posture.
- Regenerative medicine therapies. These include platelet-rich plasma injections, which use your body’s own plasma to heal a nagging injury, particularly those in joints or muscles.
Will Health Insurance Cover Your Physical Rehabilitation?
If you have concerns about cost, our friendly staff can work up an estimate based on your insurance. Most policies cover physical therapy, and in some cases, you will have a copay. If your injuries result from another person’s negligence, we recommend speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer about seeking compensation for any remaining bills.
Begin Your Journey to Healing with Tucker Physical Rehabilitation
The sooner you begin physical rehabilitation, the sooner you can feel less pain and regain lost function. Please call (404) 793-1600 or contact us online right away to schedule an evaluation of your pain and treatment options.