Physical Therapy (PT) is a branch of restorative therapy that can be used by a patient to overcome the effects of injury or illness. The main areas of physical therapy focus on strength, balance, and range of motion, although there are several goals that this therapy could help a patient achieve.
Physical therapy and rehabilitation are often used interchangeably; however, there are subtle differences between the two practices. Typically, rehabilitation refers to inpatient practice that occurs in a hospital or inpatient facility while most physical therapy is done on an outpatient basis. Because these two terms are often used to mean the same thing, it’s important to understand what type of physical therapy you will be undergoing.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient
Inpatient rehabilitation is the best option for people who have more severe or complex injuries that may make everyday functions difficult if not impossible. In these cases, it could be more taxing on the healing process initially to travel to and from an outpatient facility a few times a week. An inpatient facility can monitor a patient’s progress and needs in a more holistic ongoing way and make adjustments to the exercises based on a number of factors. Because of the nature of inpatient rehabilitation, it is of particular value to patients who have recently undergone a hospitalization as a result of their injury.
Conversely, outpatient therapy is a better choice for patients who have an injury or illness that requires additional exercises to improve, but these circumstances do not make it difficult or impossible to live alone or under the care of non-medical staff. An outpatient may require some assistance to complete certain tasks, but this assistance is not out of the scope that family or friends can help with. One of the benefits of outpatient physical therapy is that the patient can see in real time how they are progressing as they go about day-to-day tasks in their home environment, at work, and among family and friends.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
No matter which type of physical therapy is right for you, the benefits are numerous. Both inpatients and outpatients regain confidence from going through the exercises and seeing the improvements in their injuries or illnesses. Additionally, the physical therapists and staff provide support and rapport to the patient that is unique because the therapist has an understanding of the illness/injury and has helped the patient work through it while documenting the changes and improvements that the patient has earned over time.
For a better understanding of how you can benefit from physical therapy, turn to our team at Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates, located in Plymouth, Duxbury and Sandwich. Contact us today to book an appointment.