Starting Physical Therapy: Five Reasons Why This is a Good Idea
This article about starting physical therapy was written by Dr. Marla Ranieri
Your body is responsible for getting you through the day, no matter what kinds of activities you participate in. Many people are under the impression that athletes and those who are very active on a daily basis are the only ones at risk for injury, but this is not the case at all. The risk for injury exists even for people that only do simple tasks within the home, so it’s important to think carefully about the ways that the body is used in order to minimize the chances of experiencing an injury or a setback and needing outside assistance to heal. One option for this healing that doesn’t involve simply waiting around is starting physical therapy.
Read on to find out five of the most persuasive reasons to consider starting physical therapy as a method for improving health and regaining strength in injured parts of the body.
Start physical therapy if you are in pain
Everyone experiences pain at different points in their life, but we’re not talking about aches and pains that are the result of sleeping wrong or exercising too hard. These symptoms come and go, but when people like you experience lingering pain that doesn’t seem to improve – and keeps you from doing the things you love – it might be time to look into a physical therapist. It’s not always about treating the symptoms you feel, sometimes the cause of the pain is much more serious… and will need to be addressed.
Physical therapy can increase mobility
Common symptoms of people with decreased mobility include:
- Difficulty walking
- Inability to stand for long periods of time
- Trouble moving fluidly
- Inability to participate in sports
- Weakness in various parts of the body
If you’re experiencing any of these things and want to work on improving them, a physical therapist is the best person to turn to. Since all cases will be different, it’s important to tailor a recovery plan that will best benefit you as an individual. Regaining mobility may make it possible for people to stay in their homes for longer as they age, or to return to the things that they enjoy.
Physical therapy can help with sports injuries
Not only helpful with rehabilitation from sports injuries, but physical therapy can also help keep them from occurring in the first place. Many injuries from sports happen because the body is not properly conditioned to respond to the repetitive movements that are necessary when playing, and others occur because people don’t listen to what their bodies tell them. Many people believe that physical therapy focuses on only one part of the body, but in actuality, the process is meant to strengthen the entire thing, which is very helpful to athletes of all types.
Physical therapy and surgery
Physical therapy sessions can help surgery patients in two ways: it can (in some cases) eliminate the need to have surgery in the first place, or it can help those that have had a procedure recover more quickly and completely.
For people suffering from symptoms of certain types of injuries, trying out physical therapy before going under the knife might be the right choice. Not only will this eliminate the time spent recovering from the surgery itself, but it can also save people the cost of the procedure, too. Physical therapy exercises are often much easier on the body, so opting to see if this will work is a possibility.
As a continued recovery option for surgical patients, PT is helpful, too. The exercises are done (at first) under the watchful eyes of trained and capable professionals, meaning that patients don’t run the risk of getting re-injured like they would if they tried to handle things on their own. Physical therapy after surgery does many things for the body including:
- Strengthening the weak parts of the body
- Improves range of motion
- Increases balance and function
- Keeps muscles and joints from weakening further or becoming stiff
PT can promote overall body health
The goal of physical therapy visits is to improve upon the health of individual patients. Results will take time, sure, but the slow and steady process is proof that the sessions are worthwhile. The programs can start out simple and be modified to increase in intensity as time passes and people become stronger and more capable. Physical therapy sessions are meant to improve confidence and strength and give people the ability to reach their goals.
To start on your path to recovery, book your physical therapy appointment today – no prescription needed! Get started by visiting the BetterPT Clinic Locator page or even download the BetterPT Physical Therapy appointment app. These resources can – and will – give you direct access to the right people so that you can begin (or help a loved one begin) the journey to better health.
Dr. Marla Ranieri graduated from Stanford University with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology in 2005 and went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2009. She has worked with all types of individuals, including professional athletes as part of the USA Gymnastics Medical Staff. Marla continues to treat patients with evidence-based medicine and the best quality of care.