By Cheung Teav, Physical Therapist with Pinnacle Physical Therapy –
As we age, our muscles tend to become weak and lose their elasticity. In order to restore and enhance the flexibility of the body, physical therapy treatments are often prescribed. Treatment procedures utilize various strengthening and stretching exercises to maintain and restore normal body functioning. Physical therapy has been found to be beneficial for people of all age groups and of all physical activity levels. The role of physical therapy is becoming more and more important in preventive medicine. Yes, physical therapy exercises benefit patients recovering from pain which may have resulted from injury, disease or surgery; but using these types of therapies to prevent injuries or more serious conditions is equally, and maybe even more, beneficial for patients. Problems relating to the back, spine, neck, leg, and hip can be prevented using proper physical therapy programs.
Physical therapy takes a holistic approach to treating the patient. Rather than prescribing medication to mask symptoms or letting a condition progress to the point it requires surgery, physical therapy focuses on maintaining physical health, treating injuries and promoting overall wellness through preventive medicine.
Physical therapy can effectively treat, and more importantly prevent, a number of conditions and help patients return to or continue daily activities without any pain. Treatments focus on maintaining proper physical functions and restoring body functions that have been affected by injury, trauma or disease. It helps relieve pain, prevent stiffness, enhance range of motion, and improve strength, coordination and mobility.
Physical therapy isn’t only for athletes or extremely active people. In fact, many patients seek therapy to build strength and range of motion in order to prevent injuries that can be caused by daily activities such as repetitive motions, lifting and even walking or simple exercises. Just like you schedule a regular check-up with your physician as a preventive measure against illness, the same rule applies to physical therapy. You should schedule a regular check-up with a physical therapist with a prescription from your primary care physician, to prevent pain and injury from becoming a chronic problem. Your physical therapist will work with your physician to help achieve your goals. A physical therapist can evaluate the status of your health through a detailed evaluation of the musculoskeletal system making recommendations for treatment accordingly. This prevents the problem from getting worse and requiring further treatment. Many people do not think about the option of seeing a physical therapist regularly because they think this type of rehabilitation therapy is only for disability and injury.
Most people do not seek help until the problem has become more serious and therefore require more costly care. Medical care costs have skyrocketed with more insurance companies making the patient pay more out of their pocket. If you address a problem early before it requires serious attention such as surgery, you can save yourself time and money.
It is always important to listen to your body. The sensation of physical pain is the body’s way of letting you know that something isn’t working properly. Physical pain can be a sign of more serious conditions and should not be ignored.
If you are experiencing any type of physical pain and would like to prevent it from developing into a more serious condition, physical therapy may be just what you need. Remember, prevention is the key to healthy living. Physical therapy can help you to stick with a health and wellness program which will allow you to enjoy a higher quality of life. Overall health and wellness is a preventive measure against further health issues down the road, however, most people do not follow it due to a fast paced lifestyle. If you are having trouble staying with a regimen, a physical therapist can help provide a personalized plan for maintaining you health and diet. Healthy choices and regular exercise prevent a lot of health problems regardless of your age.
Although you may not have considered physical therapy as preventive care, perhaps you should begin. Next time you are seeing your primary care doctor or any of your medical doctors, ask them if physical therapy can help you. To learn more, contact Cheung Teav, Physical Therapist with Pinnacle Physical Therapy.
4110 Manatee Ave. W. Bradenton, FL 34205