“WHAT DO YOU DO IN PHYSICAL THERAPY?”
Learn from our very own Physical Therapist, Eric Haggard, about the process of evaluation, integration, and treatment, on your road to pain relief, along with increased function, balance and mobility.
The human body is much more complex than a “machine”. Nevertheless, being a Physical Therapist is a bit like being a mechanic for the body. People usually come to Physical Therapy (PT) either because they have pains that have not self-resolved or because one or more of their body parts don’t work as well as they used to.
Like a good auto mechanic, a PT’s first job is to figure out what the problems are: What is broken, misaligned, weak, too tight or too loose. After getting a clear sense of the problems, both Therapist and Patient together begin the path of traveling from current conditions, to a future place where the patient’s pains have been minimized and their body performs as well as possible. In this sense, a good Physical Therapist is both a visionary, to see the patient’s yet unrealized potential for transformation and a guide to help the patient progress there safely.
For me, the mechanics of PT involve four main approaches: Pain Relieving Modalities, Manual Therapies, Therapeutic Exercise and Integrative Healing. The choice of which tools to use and when to use them is a big part of the Art and Science of Physical Therapy.
Modalities often include tools like Ultrasound, Electrical Stimulation, Heat/Cold, Therapeutic Lasers, Therapeutic Taping and Spinal Decompression.
Manual therapies include soft tissue work like Myofascial Release and Acupressure in addition to Joint Mobilizations and Osteopathic Joint Manipulation techniques.
Therapeutic Exercises are tools for improving strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and the functional skills needed for the patient to meet all of the physical challenges of their daily life or sport.
Integrative Healing deals with the Body-Mind relationship. It is as much about healing as about curing. Curing is about addressing the immediate physical issues. Healing covers a much wider scope and deals with the emotional aspect of our physical conditions. Integrative Healing can include trance work, breath, relaxation, affirmation and visualization training, along with sound healing and other forms of energy work.
This is a short outline of my PT process and tools. All healing depends on the patient being comfortable and knowing they are safe as they progress down their path of wellness. It is a path that therapist and patient take together.
Please call for an appointment if you have pains that are not resolving or you are concerned with functional limitations.
Eric A. Haggard, PT
Sedona MediSpa & Wellness