What is physical therapy? This healthcare profession focuses on injuries and disabilities. It centers on regaining the patient’s mobility in an effort to help that particular patient get back to his normal day-to-day life. Imagine not being able to use your hands because of a recent injury. The big problem is that your profession is that of a basketball player. How would you expect to receive the ball, shoot the ball, or dribble the ball without your hand? I doubt you would be able to. That is where the physical therapist comes in.
Taking back the example of the broken hand, the physical therapist takes a look at how damaged it is. The physical therapist performs exercises on that broken hand to see how far it can go with the damage. They will see if you are able to bend your wrists, use your fingers to write, or pick up a fork. Why? All these simple activities are precursors to using your hand to dribble again. Simply put, you definitely would not be able to dribble if you cannot fold your wrist, write the alphabet, or pick up a fork. Try it.
The physical therapist then devises a plan to help your hand regain function. They may use ice packs, warm compresses, electrotherapy, or massage to loosen those stiff joints from being in a cast for months. After it is supple, they let you perform exercises. These exercises mimic the normal range of motion of your hand. Of course, they will not turn you into a contortionist but they would bend your hand more and more, day by day to stretch it out and help you regain its function. Eventually, you would be able to write, to eat, or even play basketball.
After all that bending and stretching, the physical therapist would evaluate the status of your hand if it is fit to play basketball already. If not, he would still recommend more exercises. If it is okay already, then it is back to the NBA for you! All this while, the physical therapist would be educating you on exercises to do at home, on actions you can do while not having the function of your hand.
The physical therapist is there to help you get back on track and to put you back into shape. Shape need not be a huge shape if that is what you are thinking. Shape may be a deformed shape such as broken bones and dislocated shoulders. The physical therapist will be more than happy to help any injured or disabled patient out be back to normal.