When one hears the words physical therapy, what most likely comes into mind are masseuses. Yet physical therapy delves much deeper than your typical run-of-the-mill masseuse. The benefits of physical therapy far outweigh those of regular massages from untrained masseuses. What physical therapy is – is a science. It’s a far cry from the indiscriminate kneading and pounding of some masseuses. They only make you feel better for awhile, sort of like a placebo. One of the benefits of physical therapy compared to massages is that physical therapy cures you.
There are virtually hundreds of benefits of physical therapy, but the key benefits are to evaluate physical problems, increase and maintain muscle strength and endurance, restore and increase joint range of motion, increase coordination, decrease pain, decrease muscle spasm and plasticity, decrease swelling and inflammation of joints, promote healing of soft tissue lesions, prevent contracture and deformity of limbs, alleviate walking problems, educate patients and family, decrease stress and a whole lot more too numerous to mention. These are but a few of the benefits of physical therapy.
Regular massages from untrained individuals may prove beneficial in some ways, but in the long run and more bang for the buck, physical therapy very much eats the competition for lunch. The benefits of physical therapy depend greatly on the treatment methods that physical therapists utilize. Some examples are joint mobilization, soft tissue release, trigger point release, manual therapy, myofascial stretching, muscle re-education, modalities, therapeutic exercise, re-conditioning program, specific strengthening of weak muscles, and a home exercise program to name a few. These methods are not only far superior to indiscriminate kneading and pounding, but proof of the scientific nature of physical therapy. The benefits of physical therapy are not only for instant gratification in terms of comfort, but the benefits are a long term solution for afflictions, a lasting cure for those who need it.
I am reminded of a friend who had a sore back. Instead of seeing a physical therapist, he went to a masseuse for instant relief. He did get instant relief, but after a few days, his spine grew worse and now walks with a permanent limp and crooked back. He himself says that he should’ve gone to a physical therapist and regrets not having gone. This is a perfect, if tragic example to the benefits of physical therapy, and the pains and risks of leaving your health in the hands of untrained masseuses.