Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy

The benefits of physical therapy

Physical therapy is an important component of living well with a bleeding disorder. Physical therapy is used to rehabilitate muscles and joints following injuries and bleeds, and keep your body strong. In addition, physical therapy is critical to post-surgery care for those who are undergoing a joint replacement or other similar procedures.1 Your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) or healthcare provider (HCP) can refer you to a local physical therapist with experience in treating people with bleeding disorders if the physical therapist at your HTC is too far from your home.1

“Despite the great medications out there, you still have to keep your muscles strong.“ — Jane, parent

Reduce pain and preserve joint function

In addition to helping keep your joints and muscles strong and healthy, physical therapy may decrease pain during rehabilitation.1 And after a bleeding episode resolves and pain symptoms have been controlled, your HCP may recommend rehabilitation or physical therapy to help protect joint function long-term.2

Anyone with a bleeding disorder should see a physical therapist once a year for a check-up.1

What does a physical therapist do?

Physical therapists in an HTC are experienced and aware of the problems that bleeding into joints and muscles can cause—especially pain. They are trained to come up with a plan geared to your specific age, needs, and interests.1 Your physical therapist wants to find a program that you will be eager and capable of following. You should feel comfortable talking to them about how you are feeling so they can suggest adjustments to your program.1

A physical therapist may1:

  • Suggest specific exercises to help you regain lost strength, motion, or use of a muscle or joint
  • Advise on which sports and activities will keep you in shape
  • Teach you how to move your body so that it works well without putting too much pressure on your joints
  • Check in regularly to look for changes to see if your program needs to be adjusted

Your emotional health matters

Acknowledging and addressing negative emotions is crucial to disease management.

Learn how

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  1. Physical therapy and exercise. The Hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease, & Platelet Disorders Handbook website. Accessed August 22, 2019.
  2. Joint protection. Steps for Living website. Accessed August 22, 2019.