Can a Physical Therapist Put Your Recovery on the Fast Track? We Tell You Why You May Want to Call a PT First When you Have Pain.
Bad day scenario #1: You play your monthly golf round with friends, only to feel a twinge in your knee. You ignore it, sure it’ll feel better in the morning. Sleep is the body’s reboot, right? Alas, your knee has other ideas and it hurts slightly worse the second day.
Bad day scenario #2: You think you must’ve slept funny, but that sore back just won’t quit. You try stretching, you try some over-the-counter meds, but all you want to do is lie flat and try not to provoke it. Are you destined to be that guy – the one who used to be active but now has the dreaded bad back?
Bad day scenario #3: You never realized how much you use that muscle…until it hurts! Suddenly everything sets it off – grocery shopping, typing on your laptop, seemingly any innocuous movement is sure to trigger this irritated area!
Of course these are all hypothetical situations but ones that you could very easily find yourself in – those or something like them. Whether you’re pursuing an active lifestyle, a challenging job, or trying to keep up with your kids, you can be ambushed by musculoskeletal pain and problems. So then what – call your doctor right? Bad news: one article studied thirteen major cities and found that while the average wait to see your family doc differed, the shortest wait time was still five days – and the longest was over 65 days! Even if you can get in to see your general practitioner, your area of injury or pain may not be their specialty. Then you’re looking at another wait for a specialist, any testing the General Practitioner or specialist orders, those results, and follow up appointments and… Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bypass that merry-go-round and skip right to the step that might offer you the more direct and faster route to healing?
We have good news and bad news. The bad news first: there is no magic pill and you’ll still have to actively participate in your own recovery. The good news is that yes, you can often take a faster route to recovery. By seeing a physical therapist as your first step, instead of your third or fourth step, you’ll be assessed by a trained medical provider with years of education and experience looking at movement, balance, strength, and the way your body should operate. If s/he is concerned about a more serious injury/issue, you’ll still get expert advice and your PT will likely recommend the next step, e.g., seeing an orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion, if imaging would be useful, etc.
Meanwhile, in most cases your PT will be able to work closely with you to establish the nature of your pain/problem, as well as its probable cause. S/he will develop a specific rehabilitation plan tailored to your lifestyle, activity and ability level, and designed to heal your body’s musculoskeletal pain problem. You’ll learn how to move properly, better posture, proper exercise form, and ways of engaging in previous work/hobby motions that won’t trigger those prior issues. A PT’s goal is to help your body heal itself by giving you the knowledge and tools for greater flexibility, motion, balance, and strength. In Indiana, as well as most states, you can even see a physical therapist for a limited time without a referral from your doctor, making it a great health care option.
At Body One Physical Therapy we offer free injury assessments with five locations across Indianapolis for your convenience. We’re a locally-owned practice serving Downtown, North, South Indy, Zionsville, and Fishers with a focus on caring for patients of all ages and recovery needs. If you’re ready to stop waiting to feel better, give us a call today and make the decision to put your health first!