As with any health profession that focuses on the rehabilitation of its patients, physical therapy uses an array of equipment. Anything that aids in the process of achieving the goals set forth by both doctor and the therapist is an important piece of physical therapy equipment.
Perhaps some of the most useful physical therapy equipment is those that aid the patients in every day activities. Since one of the agendas of physical therapy is the restoration and return of normalcy, the patient will find such equipment extremely helpful. Walking devices such as crutches, walkers, and canes can aide the patient in the act of walking. These devices add support and balance to the patient and are ideal for those with knee problems, back problems, and any other problems that restrict movement. Patients in need of physical therapy may have problems performing many of the actions that are otherwise taken for granted. Dressing is one such action. The buttonhook is one such tool and enables the patient to secure buttons with just one hand. This is ideal for arthritic patients and for anyone with decreased dexterity of the hands and fingers. Reachers are a type of physical therapy equipment that patients use to reach items that are otherwise too low or too far for them to grab. For those in wheel chairs or for those unable to bend down, reachers can help the patient with a sense of independence.
Bracing and support items will also be employed by the physical therapists. Bracings for knees, ankles, wrists, and other joints that may need treatment can help ensure that the patient does not become further injured by over straining. A brace also keeps the area in check and provides needed pressure.
Physical therapy equipment comes in many forms, such as those that help in exercising. Patients will find that exercising is beneficial and can help speed up the recovery process. Equipment that is used often for exercising can include anything from mats to treadmills. Exercise balls are used to increase the flexibility of the back. Shoulder wands increase the range of motions for the shoulders. Other exercise equipment is useful for other areas and conditions and will be prescribed when needed by the physical therapist.
Physical therapy equipment comes in all shapes and sizes due to the varying conditions and ailments that patients face when attending physical therapy. The therapist will use the equipment with discretion and give specific instructions on the use and care of any equipment. Patients will be advised to use the equipment as directed as misuse may result in further injury or be completely ineffective.
For those that need physical therapy equipment, they can get them through the therapists, stores, or even online. Always consult a doctor or physical therapists before using any equipment.