Conditions Treated With Physical Therapy


For people who struggle with persistent pain or who have recently experienced an acute injury, such as a broken bone or a pulled muscle, physical therapy is often a primary method of treatment. Through evaluation, exercises, and education, physical therapists help patients restore their mobility and alleviate discomfort. However, physical therapy is also an extremely effective component of treatment regimens for a wide range of other chronic health conditions.

What do physical therapists treat?

Specialized physical therapy for chronic illnesses can help improve quality of life for patients struggling with the following:

  • Arthritis

According to the CDC, over 50 million Americans have been diagnosed with arthritis, a painful disorder that causes significant inflammation and stiffness in the joints. About 43% of those with arthritis experience limited range of motion and restricted activity due to joint pain. Physical therapy exercises can help arthritis sufferers ease stiffness and reduce strain, while simultaneously learning how to modify their movements to avoid joint irritation.

  • Alzheimer’s disease

Research has shown that physical therapy can benefit patients at every stage of Alzheimer’s disease in a variety of ways. In the early stages, physical therapists work to help patients maintain their existing functions, with the goal of staying independent for as long as possible. As the disease progresses, physical therapists can instruct caregivers on how to provide a safe environment for their loved ones, as well as how to manage their needs.

  • Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes decreased bone density and bone weakness in over half of all Americans aged 50 and older. Weak bones break easily, sometimes from something as seemingly innocuous as a sneeze. Physical therapy treatments can help those who suffer from osteoporosis prevent fractures and improve bone health through resistance training, weight-bearing exercises, and balance practice.

  • Heart & lung disease

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy can improve cardiac and respiratory function for people with conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or asthma. In conjunction with respiratory therapists and cardiologists, physical therapists can help to improve your breathing and increase your ability to be physically active, enhancing your quality of life and overall health.

  • Cancer

Not only does cancer itself cause pain, swelling, and discomfort, but the treatments for it create their own set of debilitating side effects as well. Patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, or who’ve undergone cancer surgery, often struggle with weakness, numbness, and loss of mobility. A physical therapist can assist with wound care, massage, aerobic exercise, and strength training to help cancer patients stay active and comfortable both during and after their treatment.

  • Lymphedema

The lymphatic system helps keep the body free of toxins by transporting excess fluid from body tissues to the bloodstream. When a blockage occurs in the lymphatic system, excess fluid builds up in the extremities in a condition known as lymphedema. Characterized by extreme swelling in arms, legs, hands, and feet, the condition cannot always be avoided. But physical therapists can fit you with compression garments to help reduce swelling, as well as prescribe moderate exercise and healthy dietary guidelines to increase physical fitness and reduce the risk of an infection.

Bella Vista offers physical therapy in San Diego

If you’re struggling with pain or discomfort from a chronic illness, Bella Vista Health Center may be able to help. We have some of the best physical therapy San Diego can provide, with in-house physical therapists who customize programs to fit the specific needs of each individual patient. Whether you’re seeking short-term care or a long-term solution, we offer an attentive and supportive environment for your recovery.

Our ultimate goal is to help you live comfortably and independently. Call us at (619) 644-1000 to find out how our physical therapy team can improve your quality of life.