When someone mentions a physical therapist, the first thing that comes to your mind would probably be treatment post-surgery for joint-related issues or for mobility assistance. But did you know that experienced physical therapists are trained to treat a host of other ailments that many have not even heard of? Let us look at three of the most surprising ailments that physical therapists can treat so you would know who to recommend if you ever happen to come across someone with the following ailments.
Jaw Pain / Discomfort (TMD)
If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of a temporary jaw discomfort from over chewing, then you would know how it feels like for patients with chronic jaw pain and discomfort. This is known in the medical community as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and causes range from poor teeth alignment, fractures, chronic jaw clenching, and even poor posture. As can be seen from the causes, it is no wonder that physical therapists seem to be the right healthcare professional to go to if you are hoping to have your jaw discomfort treated.
Dizziness / Vertigo
You may not be familiar with the word vertigo, but it is the sensation that you may get when looking down from say a great height. It’s simply the sensation of the head spinning and general dizziness that you may experience from time to time. Often times, the cause of dizziness and vertigo are due to a vestibular migraine and it is thought to be related to lifestyle and hormonal changes as we age. Most people experience a sudden onset of vertigo and the experience would gradually go off. However, what many people are unaware of is that physical therapy in the form of vestibular rehabilitation can really alleviate one’s dizzy spells. Physical therapy would be able to improve one’s mobility and balance by providing exercises that treat the root causes of dizziness. Exercises like Canalith-repositioning and Gaze stability all treat the root causes of vertigo, making physical therapy one of the best choices to treat this condition.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Finally, one of the most unexpected injuries to be treated by a physical therapist would be traumatic brain injuries. TBIs occur when an injury changes the way brain functions and common causes include crashes and sudden impact to the head. Anyone can be susceptible to TBI, from kids below the age of 4 to the elderly above 75 years old. Symptoms as a result of TBI include weakness in body parts, cognitive decline as well as sensory changes. A physical therapist will be able to work with a patient to help them regain their mobility, strength and sensory abilities through consistent exercises and task-specific training, improving their conditions over time.
If you know someone with the following conditions or are experiencing them yourself, perhaps it’s time for a visit to the physical therapist to alleviate the symptoms — you may be surprised at the progress you will make!