Three Goals of Physical Therapy

Reducing pain is an important step to insuring a patient can perform well in the active phase of care. Many conditions are caused by muscle weakness, tightness, and/or poor sense of balance. Physical therapy builds neuromuscular balance. Once you’ve progressed from passive methods like massage therapy, electrical stimulation, manipulation, laser, decompression, and other therapies, pain will be diminished. Below are three goals to improve your biomechanics, strength and length of muscles. Activities of daily living and sports can reduce injury and eliminate pain.

Here are some areas where Physical Therapy can improve performance:

  1. ROM/Flexibility: If a joint is unable to reach a full range of motion (ROM), damage to the soft tissue in and around the joint will occur over time. Length of the muscle and ligaments affect the joint’s ROM. Restricted range is not only muscular, but can also be shortened ligament(s) from tightness of the muscle, over time. We use joint mobilization and manipulation to restore normal length to the ligaments’ tissue. You can improve ROM by passive and active daily exercise and activity.
  2. Strength: Muscles control the motion of your joints. Weakness in any muscle leads to imbalance in the joint’s motion. This imbalance creates wear and tear on the labrum, ligaments, and tendons, causing injury to these soft tissues. Strength is important to improving joint health and stability.
  3. Proprioception/Balance: Balance is key in sports, and in life in general. When a person steps off a curb and sprains their ankle, for example, the key issue is the joint’s lack of awareness of where it is in space. Training the joint’s receptors to communicate with the brain is key to improving balance and reducing injury. These receptors exist in ligaments damaged in sprains. Reducing edema (watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body) is important in an acute sprain, but is only a fraction of what should be done to repair the joint. Balance training is typically the final stage in physical therapy that insures optimal joint performance. We help train your brain in order to optimize your physical performance.
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