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3 Types Of Health Conditions That Physical Therapy May Help With

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Physical therapy is often sought by individuals following a surgery in order to restore physical function and for chronic pain, particularly in the back and neck. Physical therapy often combines many different approaches, including massage, stretching and hydrotherapy. These techniques have the ability to help a wide range of ailments, disorders, and conditions. In fact, physical therapy can help with more things that most people think, including health conditions like arthritis, incontinence, and Alzheimer's disease, for adults. 

1. Arthritis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 percent of all adults in the United States have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis by a health care professional. Physical exercise, whether it be a couple of laps around the pool or a walk around the block each morning, is essential to keeping joints moving, strengthening muscles and reducing pain associated with arthritis. It is recommended that arthritis sufferers get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. A personal program can be developed by a physical therapist that will ensure you get the adequate amount of exercise as well as rest so that you don't put any unnecessary stress on your joints.

2. Incontinence

The American Physical Therapy Association reports that as many as 25 percent of women in the United States suffer from some form pelvic floor disorder (urinary incontinence). Based on data presented in a study, the APTA is recommending that these individuals seek assistance from a physical therapist in order to help. According to the study, when training of the pelvic floor muscle was combined with bladder training, women saw improvement in their incontinence symptoms, especially when compared to other treatments, such as medical devices, electrostimulation, local estrogen therapy and drug therapy. Therefore, it may be a less stressful way to manage the symptoms. 

3. Alzheimer's Disease

There is research that suggests physical exercise may be able to help patients deal with Alzheimer's disease. A 2013 study showed that patients who took part in group exercise or home exercise were considerably less likely to experience function deterioration and had fewer falls when compared to those who did not partake in any form of regular physical exercise. In other words, exercise may be able to help in delaying the decline of physical function in Alzheimer's patients. Therefore, patients with Alzheimer's may benefit from a long-term, intensive physical therapy program. 

If you're suffering from any one of the aforementioned health conditions, you may want to speak to your doctor about getting a referral for a physical therapist. Although your exact circumstances will need to be assessed, you may be able to benefit greatly from regular sessions with a local physical therapist.