Unless you’ve been prescribed physical therapy by your primary care physician, perhaps following a car accident or a back injury of some kind, there’s a good chance you’ve never thought about visiting a physical therapist. While nearly half of patients are looking for relief of some type of back pain, many therapists have a roster of patients who come when they aren’t injured, treating this therapy as an important part of preventative medicine.
There’s no doubt that physical therapy can be one of the most effective options for helping one recover from an injury, but you certainly don’t have to be injured to take advantage of it, as it can help in multiple different situations.
As part of their wellness regimen, many people may seek physical therapy in Clarks Summit, PA, and cities throughout the country to keep their bodies functioning properly and avoid injuries. For example, those who sit at a desk throughout most of the week, hitting the gym hard on the weekends, look for exercise programs created by experts that will allow them to work on strength, mobility, and alignment issues at home. Frequently, what begins as a preventive appointment, can reveal underlying problems like a compromised range of motion, muscle imbalance, or extreme tightness. Addressing those issues early on can help to ensure they don’t become worse down the road.
Athletes of all types, including the pros, rely on physical therapy to help identify weaknesses and imbalances to work on those areas, potentially improving performance while preventing issues like strained muscles and stress fractures.
Reducing the Risk of Falls Among the Elderly
One of the most common causes of injury among those over the age of 65 are falls. They can be caused by balance problems, weakness, confusion, poor endurance, and other conditions. All of those areas can be addressed in physical therapy, with therapists working with patients to improve balance, strength, and endurance. If you or a loved one is at risk for a fall, seeing a physical therapist is a great way to decrease those odds.
Potentially Preventing Surgery and Medications
If you’ve been suffering from back, knee, hip, or shoulder pain and have been contemplating surgery, you might want to consider physical therapy as the first method of treatment. It’s saved many people from unnecessary surgeries and is often much more cost-effective, not to mention saving what’s often a significant amount of recovery time. Even when surgery is a necessity, physical therapy can make recovery much quicker.
Physical therapy can also be an effective alternative to pain medications, which can be highly addictive, not to mention coming with all sorts of side effects. Numerous studies, including one reported by Harvard Medical School, have shown that those suffering from lower back pain who consulted a physical therapist were significantly less likely to require opioids for relief.
Management of an Existing Health Condition
There are many health conditions such as autoimmune diseases, osteoarthritis, and diabetes that have symptoms that can be helped by physical therapy. Going to a therapist can make it easier to manage those issues by relieving pain, improving mobility, and more.