In the New Year 2018, rehabilitation from injury or surgery will be an entirely new ball game. Physical therapists will stop recommending long breaks from work or stretches of bed rest. In 2018, doctors will want you to resume normal activities with just a few rounds of therapy. Researchers have discovered that few, intensive physical therapy sessions can lead to not only better but also speedier recovery.

According to the director of one of the leading physical therapy facilities in New York, treatment will become more aggressive. He predicts that in 2018, PTs will strive to create change and also make corrections, rather than wait for patient’s bodies to take their natural course. Essentially, they’ll guide the process of healing and recovery.

Get Moving

In the years gone by, patients would be instructed to keep injured areas still by wrapping them. They also had to take breaks from their normal activities and have bed rest.

However, research has changed that way of reasoning. Scientists have discovered that those who remain physically active do better than patients who take things easy.

For a long time, a patient who went through surgery on the shoulder to fix a broken rotator cuff had to walk around with a sling for up to 2 months. Additionally, the patient had to delay physical therapy for up to 5 weeks.

In 2018, patients won’t necessarily have to do the same thing unless when sleeping. They will start PT sessions within seven days, according to a prominent sports medicine expert and orthopedic surgeon at Los Angeles’ Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic facility.

Doctors will want you to recover your strength within the shortest time possible.

Hands-on Technique

For many years, physical therapists have been relying on methods such as electrical stimulation, iontophoresis and ultrasound, among other techniques, to relieve pain. However, the techniques have only been providing a temporary solution.

In the New Year, PTs will adopt techniques that are more hands-on. They’ll prefer to use bodywork or manual therapy to reach the source of pain and also permanently resolve the issue. Manual therapy can, and will be very effective in enabling patients to relax and remain flexible. It will also help to relieve pain.

Limited Use of Assistive Devices

For a long time, PTs have been fixing braces on those who complained of persistent problems in the lower back. For instance, people would have to wear them for extra support when mowing their lawns. Additionally, those who had neck injuries would have to wear neck braces.

man holding his crutches high in the air

In 2018, assistive devices such as braces, special footwear, canes, splints and crutches will still be used, but they won’t be the first and only choices anymore. Very few doctors will recommend their use because they have discovered that keeping injured areas immobile actually make them weaker.

Immediate Continuation of Regular Activities

In years gone by, the primary objective of rehabilitation was to enhance patient’s range of motion. For instance, if you had an injury on the shoulder, your physical therapist would attempt to help you move it at a complete 180 degrees. However, the therapy gave no guarantee that you could engage in any physical activity.

Going forward, therapists will shift focus to making you capable of using your injured joint faster and better. Their primary goal will be to enable you to resume regular activities within the shortest time possible.

In the unfortunate event that you suffer a shoulder injury in 2018, PT will enable you to brush your hair and dress yourself within a few days. Soon after that, you’ll be able to lift things.

Bottom Line

There are so many positive changes that will occur in 2018 and beyond. The above are only some of the major physical therapy trends that will be witnessed. Let’s wait and see what else will change in the field of PT and other healthcare areas as well.