Losing a limb can be a devastating blow to anyone. It takes a team of professionals to adjust to life without a limb. Doctors, prosthetists, nurses and psychologists are all needed. In addition to this, physical therapy services are needed that will help the amputee recover.
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The benefits of physical therapy for the amputee’s recovery are numerous. First, the amputee will need help to overcome phantom pains. These are pains that are in the place where the limb used to be. The sensation is really in the nerve that would lead to that limb if it were still there. Physical therapy can use its own techniques to treat this pain.
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Most amputees will get a prosthetic limb. Some people think that learning how to fit it will be enough. Getting used to a prosthetic limb is not an automatic thing. Many patients use a prosthetic limb for years without ever using it for normal function. This is one of the reasons why rehabilitation of amputees is so important.
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Physical therapy can help amputees recover by gradually getting patients used to using their prostheses. The physical therapy program in this area will be tailored to the patient’s needs and abilities.
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During the amputee’s rehabilitation, the patient may need help relearning balance. This is especially true if the affected limb is a foot or leg. However, if there is an arm that weighs differently than the other arm, this may also cause imbalance. Physical therapy can also help with these problems.
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One thing that people doing amputee rehabilitation need to realize is that gait is a good battle. If a person is walking correctly, one cannot even detect a limp, even with a prosthetic leg. This skill can be learned from a physical therapist.
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If a patient waits a long time after surgery before seeking physical therapy, problems may arise. Certain muscles may become overdeveloped, while others are weakened. This happens because without proper amputee rehabilitation, the patient becomes dependent on one group of muscles and neglects others. A proper physical therapy program can address this problem.
A person who has lost a limb will need an individualized exercise program. Physical therapy can provide such a program during the amputee’s rehabilitation. This will take into account the different movements required for the amputee to perform normal exercises.
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Manual therapy, such as massage, is part of the amputee’s rehabilitation in physical therapy. This can relieve much of the pain and tension in muscles that have been overworked while adapting to the new situation. Other therapies may also be used. Some of these are heat therapy, acupuncture, ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
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The need for physical therapy in the rehabilitation of amputees is not met by other disciplines. It is a basic aid that can be used by anyone who has lost a limb. Some amputees refuse treatment because they believe it is unnecessary. Others feel overwhelmed by their loss. If there is a way to convince amputees to undergo physical therapy to help them recover, they will find the road to recovery much smoother.