When Preventative Physical Therapy is the Right Move
Posted February 15, 2022
Prevention isn’t the word most often associated with physical therapy. In our line of work, most patients come to us citing pain as their major complaint, along with loss of function and movement. Likely they’re recovering from an injury or illness, rehabbing after surgery, or experiencing chronic pain. But did you know that physical therapy can actually prevent a number of problems before they become problems?
Yep, that’s right. So how can you take advantage? Treat your physical therapist like you would any other doctor and schedule a preventative visit or book an annual check-in!
Our team members are experts in all things musculoskeletal. Our PTs have doctoral degrees in physical therapy and, in many cases, are also Board-Certified Specialists, meaning we have the experience and expertise necessary to provide you with useful tips for staying healthy all year long.
Here are a few instances in which you might benefit from preventative physical therapy visits:
You’re Starting a New Fitness Regimen
Making a lifestyle change like introducing a new fitness routine into your schedule comes with innumerable benefits. But it can also be accompanied by a hiccup or two.
For example, for those who lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle (i.e. those who work jobs that require them to be seated at a desk all day), diving into a new high intensity workout (like CrossFit) without preparation often comes with aches and pains beyond the soreness regularly associated with a good workout.
Seeing your physical therapist to focus on strength and mobility before you sign up for your first class can help prepare your body to handle those rigorous workouts, so that you can avoid injury altogether when you begin.
People who already exercise regularly can also benefit. If you’re living a relatively active lifestyle but want to ramp things up to meet a new goal, like running a marathon, it’s a good idea to consult your physical therapist first. A preventative appointment can help you identify any issues that might be exacerbated by your new and improved routine.
A bonus? During your visit, your physical therapist can also help you identify ways to maximize your performance, giving you a leg up on the competition.
If you’re wanting to start working out but curious which form of exercise might be best for you given your lifestyle and your musculoskeletal build, ask! We’re happy to give you a recommendation on what might be best for you.
You’re Looking for a Tune-Up
Do you have a recurring twinge that causes the occasional discomfort but maybe hasn’t warranted a visit? Not feeling 100% but not quite sure why?
In today’s world of go-go-go, it can be easy to ignore minor tweaks and twinges because there’s just not enough time in the day to address them. We get it. But what happens when that tiny twinge turns into a big problem? Preventative care is always better than waiting for a serious problem to develop. It’s easier (and more cost effective!) to treat a minor issue now vs. a major one later.
A check-in with your physical therapist is the perfect opportunity to identify whether those minor twinges are actually major injuries lying in wait. During a preventative visit, your physical therapist can look at the problem area and address any number of concerns, including range of motion issues, postural imbalances, and weakened muscles. Then, together you can work to rectify those issues before they become more serious complications.
Though it may seem like something that can be put off, waiting can be both painful and costly. Addressing any issues now can save you from physical setbacks and costly healthcare bills down the road.
You, or a Loved One, are Aging and at Risk of Falling
According to the CDC, more than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States. In some cases, these falls lead to serious injury and can often be the catalyst for a loss of independence. But falling is not a normal part of aging, and it can often be prevented with a little strength and balance training.
Your physical therapist can design an individualized program that focuses on strengthening the core and other specific muscle groups, leading to improved endurance and standing and walking balance.
You’ve Got a Health Issue You’d Like to Get a Better Grip on
If you have a disease or chronic health issue you’re working to keep at bay, or are at risk of developing one, don’t let it keep you from living the life you want. Preventative physical therapy can help you take control of your health and lead a higher-quality life. Some examples of health issues we can help you manage include:
- Diabetes and Vascular Conditions
- Heart and Lung Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Metabolic Disorders & Obesity