Did you know that February is National Self-Check Month? That’s your annual reminder to take care of yourself and evaluate your health needs. If you’re now thinking about the last time you’ve visited your primary care physician, dentist, gynecologist, or another medical doctor – that’s great! But there’s more…what you’re probably not thinking about is how long it’s been since you’ve scheduled a visit with your physical therapist…but you should be…
How many times do you wake up with stiffness or experience musculoskeletal pain in your arms, legs, neck, and other joints throughout your day? Whether your job requires you to sit at a desk all day or perform physical labor, there are stresses placed on your body that can cause you to feel pain. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. A physical therapist can help manage your pain, increase mobility, improve range of motion, and ensure your body is functioning at its maximum potential. Here’s why visiting a physical therapist should be on your list of priorities this month:
Address the nagging pain you’ve learned to live with
Are you experiencing low back pain from sitting at a desk all day? Are you an athlete fighting through persistent soreness every time you’re on the field? Are you a hair dresser with shoulder pain every time you lift your arm to use a hair dryer? The list could go on. Did you know that a physical therapist can help treat and manage the pain through manual therapy, physical exercise and a home exercise program, all tailored to meet your needs? In addition, if your therapist determines that you need further treatment from a physician, they will refer you to an orthopedist, rheumatologist or another specialist.
Add life to your years
Maybe you’re not feeling significant pain, but your mobility is limited. Do you find yourself trying to turn your neck to look at something but stop halfway because you just can’t rotate it anymore? Do you have trouble getting up and down from the floor when playing with your children because your knees don’t bend and flex properly? In many of these instances, physical therapy can help. A physical therapist can work with you on specific exercises designed to improve your range of motion and mobility, so you can move around safely and enhance your quality of life.
Prevent dangerous and potentially deadly falls
Anyone can fall at any time, no matter your age. But if you’re over the age of 65, your chances increase dramatically. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four Americans, aged 65 and over, falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Despite these alarming statistics, there are ways some of these falls can be prevented.
That’s where your physical therapist can help. Physical therapists can work with the senior population to assess their risk of falling by identifying physical strengths and limitations. They can also develop a tailored program to improve strength, coordination, and balance, and provide valuable tips to keep your home safe, and refer you to a physician if an underlying condition is detected.
Physical therapists are also trained to help the active population reduce their risk of injury. Similar to the way they help the senior population prevent falls, physical therapists can also help athletes and weekend warriors remain safe and active. This ranges from developing exercise programs to strengthen neck, core, lower extremity and upper extremity muscles, to giving instruction on proper dynamic warm-ups and post-workout stretches, to providing tips on proper clothing, footwear and equipment.
Keep yourself ahead of the curve by staying on top of your physical therapy checkups. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to your mobility and quality of life. Your physical therapists are licensed and trained to identify, evaluate, treat and manage your concerns, so you spend less time in pain and more time doing the activities you love. To schedule an appointment at a Professional Physical Therapy clinic, visit https://www.professionalpt.com/request-appointment/.