Physical Therapy: 4 Things to Know

Physical therapy.  Many have heard of this term but are still unsure if its exact meeting.  It’s different from what you’re thinking now.  It’s not just a regular gym workout or running on the treadmill for an hour.

physical therapyThere’s value in checking up on your body at least once a month, to ensure everything’s going well.  Most people work at demanding jobs, which require sitting all day long.  You barely have enough time to give to yourself.  On the other hand, you might exercise a lot and still feel not quite right.  Both approaches have similar effects on the body.  It creates an imbalance in our bodies, which leads to health conditions.  This is why physical therapy is beneficial.

A customised physical therapy program helps people return to their prior levels of functioning.  It encourages activities and lifestyle changes to help prevent further injury and improve overall health through therapeutic exercise.

The therapeutic exercise aims to improve and restore physical function.  The following tips explain why physical therapy is important.

  1. Pain reduction or elimination. Therapeutic exercise and manual therapy techniques such as joint or soft tissue mobilisation or treatments include ultrasounds.  Taping and electrical stimulation can relieve pain and restore muscle or joint function, reducing pain as a result.
  2. Avoid surgery. If physical therapy helps with pain or heals an injury, surgery might not be needed.  If surgery is required, you could benefit from pre-surgery physical therapy.  If you’re going into surgery stronger and in better shape, you’ll recover faster.
  3. Improved mobility: stretching and strengthening exercises restores your ability to move.
  4. Recover from or prevent a sports injury. Physical therapists understand how different sports can increase your risk for specific types of injuries.  Physical therapy can help you recover from an injury and avoid future ones.  Your physical therapist can help you reduce pain in soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) and build muscle strength.  It can improve flexibility, function and opens up a range of motions.  The therapist recommends activities that are less likely to cause injury.

How long does it take for the benefits of physical therapy to kick in?

Each session lasts from 30-60 minutes each.  A guest can do one or many sessions per week, depending on their reasons for the therapy.  As you see progress, your visits could shorten and its frequency lessened as you learn new techniques to help with your healing.

Here are a few examples of therapeutic exercises:

  1. Range of motion: aims to maintain and increase motion through joint mobilisation and soft tissue stretching.
  2. Muscle performance: to increase muscle strength, power and endurance.
  3. Postural improves and corrects faulty posture.
  4. Balance and coordination
  5. Relaxation exercises
  6. Area-specific exercises such as breathing and circulatory exercises

The physical therapist determines the type of exercises you need to be at your best.  The program is designed to return you to activities you used to do prior to your injury and prescribe new exercises to meet your short and long term goals.

Andropause: How to Deal with Male Menopause

Men go through andropause or “male menopause.”  Men suffer from changing hormones, just like women.  Symptoms of male menopause are similar to women, such as irritability, fatigue, weakness, depression and sexual problems.

The male hormone, testosterone, gradually declines as men age.  Testosterone production slowly declines for men starting at 30 years old.  Subtle changes occur as early as ages 40-45.  It gets more dramatic after age 70.  Most men might not notice this change, but it affects the quality of life through physical, mental, emotional and social effects.

Men with low levels of testomale menopausesterone experience agitation, mood swings, low energy, fatigue, libido loss, erectile dysfunction (ED), loss of confidence, sleep problems, depression, weight gain and difficulties building muscle.  Low testosterone might put men at risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Hormonal declines aren’t limited to testosterone.  Men might experience drop-offs in adrenal and thyroid hormones.  Men over 35 years of age should see a doctor to test their hormone levels even if they do not experience significant symptoms.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Male Menopause

To boost testosterone production, “testosterone replacement therapy” might help to relieve symptoms.  This therapy could boost libido, alleviate depression and fight fatigue.  Hormone replacement therapy may pose risks to prostate cancer patients.  Please consult with your doctor about its risks and benefits before you make the decisions to address male menopause.

Lifestyle modification is the best way to maintain your testosterone level.  Eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin D and zinc supplement can support healthy levels of testosterone. Regular exercise, especially weight training to increase muscle mass, is important for maintaining normal testosterone levels.  Getting enough sleep and managing stress are both important for balancing hormones.