Physical therapy is a type of treatment used to help people recover their strength and wellness after an injury. People are usually referred to physical therapy immediately after accidents or surgery as soon as they're sufficiently healed, but it's never too late to seek physical therapy. If an old injury troubles you with pain or stiffness, you can benefit from seeing a physical therapist. Here are four things that a physical therapist can do to reduce your pain and increase your range of motion:

1. Introduce you to helpful exercises.

When you're in pain, exercising might be the last thing you feel like doing. However, it's important to rebuild your body's strength following a surgery or injury. A physical therapist will help you rebuild your strength safely and gradually, using exercises that will not cause you additional injury. The exercises you're assigned will reduce your day-to-day stiffness and hopefully also lower your daily pain levels. You may be instructed to perform a series of exercises on the days when you don't have physical therapy sessions. It's important that you don't skip this homework because it's designed to contribute to your healing.

2. Wrap weak areas with kinesiology tape.

Some areas of your body may be weak and particularly fragile following an injury. Eventually, you'll be able to build your muscle strength to provide support to weak joints, but you'll still need a solution in the meantime. A physical therapist can provide extra stability to fragile joints using kinesiology tape. Kinesiology tape is a soft, flexible, body-safe tape that is used to stabilize joints. Many people find that taping helps them complete daily tasks with less pain.

3. Massage tight, sore muscles.

Massages aren't just a luxury. They're also a viable medical treatment. During physical therapy, your therapist may massage tight, sore muscles to encourage your body to release some of its tension. These massages may be a little uncomfortable due to deep tissue pressure, but you should feel much better after your massage.

4. Guide you through aquatherapy.

Aquatherapy is a good choice for people whose joints are too fragile for weight-bearing exercises. When you submerge your body in water, the water bears most of your weight, which will allow you to perform exercises that you can't safely do on land. Aqua aerobics and stretches can help you rebuild your strength more quickly. Many physical therapy facilities feature pools where clients can perform aquatic exercises.