MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Many people see physical therapy as only necessary after a serious injury or surgery, but physical therapy actually has many benefits including making someone stronger and reducing pain.

Physical therapists help their patients with specific exercises and education for areas of the body they’re having trouble with to improve strength and mobility. Physical therapy can also be used by athletes to improve their overall strength to prevent injuries.

One major aspect of physical therapy is also helping to reduce pain. As we age many people will start to experience chronic pain in some areas of the body. This can be caused by lack of activity or an old injury that never fully healed.

Physical therapy can help people strengthen the area of the body with issues and by making the muscles stronger.

“Chronic pain is a bad cycle because it makes a person not want to move but then the lack of movement and weakening of the muscles ends up making the pain worse,” said Nathan Hironymous, a physical therapist with Intermountain Health. “Physical therapy is meant to help those at any mobility level begin to build back their strength.”

Hironymous said people often brush off pain as just a symptom of age, but there are ways to fix it and not be in pain. Physical therapy can also be a great tool for improving balance and mobility which are big areas of concern as we age.

Even if someone doesn’t have pain or an injury, physical therapy can help make someone stronger and prevent serious injuries. This is especially important for people who are extremely active or take part in intense sports.

“Physical therapy is a tool meant for people of all abilities as a way to improve their health by strengthening their bodies,” said Hironymous. “It’s not something you have to do forever – we can often find troubled areas and give people the tools to continue outside of a clinic.”

For more information on about physical therapy programs at Intermountain, click here.

Sponsored by Intermountain Health.