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Health

Three things to know about physical therapy

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Physical therapists are trained professionals who evaluate, assess and treat abnormal physical function related to a disability, injury or condition to help restore function.

This healthcare specialty works to promote physical activity and limit pain.

Here are 3 things to know about PT:

1. Physical therapy is not just exercise.

Physical therapy is so much more! From manual therapies to modalities, physical therapists are trained in musculoskeletal disorders as well as neurological disorders and have extensive medical training to understand diseases and conditions and how they affect the body.

Some conditions treated in PT include shoulder-rotator cuff injuries, nerve impingements, osteoporosis, ankle injuries, plantar fasciitis, ACL and meniscus problems, muscle strains and sprains and fibromyalgia.

There are also specialties for cardiac, weight loss and pediatric concerns.

2. You must be committed to the process.

If you have an injury or have a post-surgical orthopedic issue, be prepared to go to your PT sessions three times per week for multiple weeks.

If you have an injury like a strain or sprain, you may require four, six or eight weeks of physical therapy. Post-surgical physical therapy protocol may require 16-20 weeks of PT.

Be consistent and prioritize your PT appointments. Canceling or missing appointments will only delay your recovery and progress.

3. Physical therapy typically progresses in stages.

Expect your progress to come in phases. In the first phase, you will notice improved mobility and decreased pain. This will occur over 8-12 visits - more or less depending on the individual and condition.

The second phase of corrective exercise program and decreasing compensations could take 4-12 visits. The third phase of functional exercise and activities will span 4-8 visits.

In the fourth phase, you may be able to return to sports or begin a maintenance program, and the fifth and final phase is your yearly well check.

Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates: 4934 Main St. Downers Grove, IL 60515, 630.964.4008, www.befitpt.com