The Health-Improvement Benefits of Physical Therapy

Most people are familiar with physical therapy (PT) as a way to help with recovery from injuries, strokes or heart procedures. But the reality is that PT is far more comprehensive than that. From pain management to fall prevention, PT can prevent surgery, boost mobility, and treat, prevent and improve a wide array of health conditions.

Types of Physical Therapy

While the best known form of physical therapy is orthopedic PT (treatment of fractures, tendon and ligament injuries, tendonitis and bursitis), several other varieties of this therapy are available to restore and improve the health of individuals of virtually any age:

  • Neurological — Brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease
  • Geriatric — Arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, joint replacement, incontinence and balance disorders
  • Cardiopulmonary — COPD, cystic fibrosis, heart attack, stroke and surgical procedures
  • Pediatric — Developmental delays, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and other musculoskeletal conditions
  • Vestibular — Balance problems caused by conditions of the inner ear
  • Pelvic Floor — Urinary or fecal incontinence and pelvic pain

Benefits Beyond Recovery

Physical therapy can improve health and overall wellbeing by:

  • Reducing reliance on painkillers by managing pain
  • Helping patients avoid surgery
  • Improving motion and mobility
  • Overcoming or lessening paralysis
  • Improving balance
  • Managing medical problems associated with aging

Gerson B. Florez, M.D., Orthopedic Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon with St. Clair Orthopedic Associates, adds, “Physical and occupational therapy are a vital component to all musculoskeletal care. I often tell my patients that therapy improves motion before surgery, maintains motion after surgery, and can often eliminate the need for surgery at all. As an orthopedic surgeon, I can improve your lifestyle, but the credit should be evenly divided among the therapists and the surgeon. Without our talented therapists we would only reach half of our goals.”

From sports injuries to aging issues to the unique PT needs of women, the specially trained physical therapists of St. Clair Hospital’s Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation Services provide a full range of treatments to help improve overall wellness and quality of life. To learn how our team can help you or a loved one, visit or call 412.942.7122.

Dr. Gerson B. Florez specializes in orthopedic surgery. His expertise includes shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand surgery. He performs shoulder replacements, arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, bicep tendon repairs, wrist arthroscopy, thumb arthritis surgery, carpal tunnel and trigger finger surgery. He also supports Emergency Room patients and community sports teams by treating pediatric and adult injuries and fractures. He earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine, completed a residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, and a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Florez is board-certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and holds a distinguished subspecialty certificate in hand surgery from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He practices with St. Clair Orthopedic Associates, part of St. Clair Medical Services.


To contact Dr. Florez, please call 412.942.7262.



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