Physical therapy is important after a patient has been discharged, but there is still need for them to be attended to. It takes care of the pain management and mobility issues. They are sometimes confused with the chiropractors.
Chiropractic care handles cases where there is need to adjust the spine to get the vertebrae to remain aligned properly. It is a well-known fact among them that a properly aligned spine lead to the restoration of balance and health. Pain will simply disappear from the patient.
Physical therapy will, however, deal with the manipulation of the spine to make someone move a joint that was not able to do so previously. To differentiate the two, you need to acknowledge the fact that only chiropractors can adjust the spine. Physical therapists only go as far as manipulating it.
Once a physical therapist has been trained on how to manipulate the spine, they shall then use the technique as and when they see fit. They will normally use mobilization techniques or passive movement to joints.
They will see fit where to apply things like range-of-motion exercises, ambulation exercises, coordination exercises, and muscle strengthening. They are also famous for the rehabilitation of stroke victims after they are discharged. Those how have suffered a stroke usually take a lot of time and effort to get back to normal functioning. The work if a physical therapist in such a case is to try and improve the physical condition of the patient, to help them in attempting to live their lives as normally as possible, and to acquire new skills where needed, when the old ones cannot learn afresh. Rehabilitation start when the patient is still hospitalized and progresses until no longer needed. Something has to be done about their homes to make it comfortable for them.
They will need to learn coordination afresh, so that they can perform tasks on their own, and to regain their balance. They will learn, for instance, how to pick up and use a pen.
They are also skilled at handling osteoarthritis cases. They will use heat therapy to minimize stiffness and muscle spasms. They will need to use cold therapy for the pain. They will also use walking aids to make the process easier on the joints. They are also skilled at massage therapy to help the patients.
They will take time to show them stretching and strengthening exercises too. They need to do this for those muscles that have been to be ready for shock absorption. These exercises are how the cartilage is kept healthy.
As for sports injuries, they shall use traction, water therapy, hot and cold packs, as part of the therapeutic exercises.