Physical therapists can increase your mobility, reduce pain, and prevent disability and future injury. They do this with a multidisciplinary approach that includes manual therapy, electrotherapy, exercise therapy, and mechanical force and movements.
If you’ve ever been injured, you may have received that referral slip for physical therapy. But, did you go? Each year, half of all people over the age of 18 suffer a musculoskeletal injury – and yet, less than 10% of patients take advantage of the outpatient physiotherapy services recommended.
Whether it’s fear of the unknown, or simply doubt that physical therapy really works, it’s worth examining the benefits that these practitioners can offer, and how completing your course of treatment can enhance your healing, or even prevent injury to begin with. Here are five reasons you should grab that script and go to physical therapy:
One surefire sign that you should seek the help of a physical therapist is if pain and discomfort from exercise or overexertion is lingering longer than a few days. If you’re in pain, practice RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If the pain persists, get to a doctor as soon as possible. After examining you and performing tests, he might very well prescribe physical therapy. And you should go.
- Creating a Dialogue
If you’re an elite athlete or weekend warrior, you’ll want to better understand your body. Perhaps, you’ve never been injured – and you want to keep it that way. The same way you would ask your dermatologist about your skin or your cardiologist about your heart, a physical therapist is equipped and trained to access your injury risk. Don’t wait until a concern becomes a full-fledged injury; take preventive measures and get a full movement screen and postural assessment. This will allow a therapist to identify improper movement patterns that can dictate which course of action is right for you.
- Retraining Your Muscles
Are you feeling stiff, weak, or fatigued? Consider your posture and alignment. When it comes to poor posture, repetitive movements often are the culprit. Recurring movements – whether mundane such as carrying those grocery bags back to your apartment, or more rigorous (training for your first 10K) – can leave you feeling off-kilter. Physical therapists have amassed a wealth of knowledge when it comes to stretches and exercises that promote envy-worthy posture. Massages may be synonymous with the spa, but physical therapists transcend traditional techniques, performing neuro-muscular re-education massages. Harnessing the brain-and-body connection, they can mobilize muscles and “retrain” them to function properly.
- What lies beneath…
Pay attention to visible changes in your body. Persistent swelling or bruising are signs you may be making an underlying injury even worse. Limited range of motion is another indicator. Nobody wants to be on the bench, but continuing to play through the pain can exacerbate an existing problem. Nip it in the bud, and you could get back to doing what you love – sooner.
- Pre-Op, Post Haste
Anyone who has ever had surgery knows they are invasive, expensive, and may require lengthy and cumbersome recuperation periods. Save your precious time and hard-earned money by seeking the advice of a physical therapist. In fact, if your decision is timely, physical therapy can be as effective as surgery.
The benefits of PT seem boundless – but you have to stick to the plan. Adhering to a proper course of treatment can mean enhanced mobility, a reduction in pain, and less likelihood for injury; it’s a win-win. Endeavor Physical Therapy and Wellness utilizes a comprehensive assortment of outpatient PT and workers’ compensation services to diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries. Their skilled therapists will customize a course of action that’s tailored to your needs. For more information, call their main office at 512-284-7192, or their Northwest location at 512-467-4546.