When Should You See a Physical Therapist? The Answer Might Surprise You
Most people are used to the idea of rehab after an injury or medical procedure. In fact, in the case of surgical procedures, many providers will often set up the first PT session before the surgery is even completed. Since for many injuries surgery is the last resort, physical therapy is an excellent and non-invasive option: so most people are familiar with the idea of seeing a PT when something has gone awry on the tennis court, or the company softball outing hasn’t exactly been a home run. Yet what about seeing a physical therapist when things are going…right? Or when you want to keep them functioning properly? Your physical therapist can help then, too. Here’s a handy list for when seeing a PT is a good call:
- To heal injury and help avoid invasive procedures: As mentioned, this is probably the one that comes to mind first for most people. Surgery isn’t the front line choice for everything, and although you have to pitch in on your own recovery – you’ll have to do it regardless. If physical therapy can fix the problem with no surgery, sutures, and downtime, so much the better!
- When you have big goals in mind: Did you decide this year would be the year to tackle that insurmountable goal? Is that Ironman, marathon, obstacle race, etc calling to you? If you’re thinking of taking on a big challenge and you’re starting somewhere around square one, seeing a physical therapist is a good idea. S/he can assess any movement issues, imbalances, potential weaknesses, injury potential, and give you a blueprint for how to shore up any deficits and help keep you on the road to your goal.
- When you are already fit but feeling a little off your game: If you’re noticing some tightness here and there, or some pain where you didn’t have any, or any other unusual sensation in your normal fitness routine, a PT can be a great resource. Athletic people, like most people, are creatures of habit, and can be so focused on getting the miles in, or finishing the game, logging the laps in the pool, etc that they ignore what is actually a warning light. A physical therapist can discuss your sports/hobbies and assess any injuries or injury potential and work to reduce the risk of that little warning becoming a big problem!
- When that old injury threatens to sideline you: You know the one. It’s your bad elbow, shoulder, ankle. Whatever it is, you can count on it to turn up like a bad penny. You’ve handled it, and think you’ve beaten it – until it decides to show up and ruin your day. Even if you’ve seen a physical therapist before, dropping back in to get it assessed as well as to ensure you’re doing what you can at home (and doing it properly) can work wonders on keeping old annoyances from being current issues.
- To help you get and stay active: Physical therapists can tell a lot by watching you move, they’re funny that way. Sure, you think you can squat down…but can you really? Maybe you could if your calves weren’t so tight- but who knew?! (A physical therapist, that’s who!) A good PT can assess your strengths and weaknesses and give you a specific set of guidelines and exercises to help you become stronger and more balanced. A physical therapist can help you both get and stay active by ensuring you’re addressing any problem areas.
If you are interested in improving your overall health, have a goal you want to tackle this year, or have some aches and pains that are killing your weekends (or weeks), we can help. Body One has five locations serving central Indiana, from Downtown Indianapolis, North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Zionsville, and Fishers and a team of dedicated and highly-trained physical therapists who want to help you live your best life. Our team is pleased to offer our Sustained Optimal Performance Program (SOP): this is designed to address your goals, as well as assess you and any weaknesses, imbalances, movement issues, strength deficits, and create a customized plan to help you work toward improvement and reaching your goals. The SOP program is cash-based but may even qualify for distribution of payment from your HSA under “health and wellness” programs. Call us today to find out more about the SOP program or our physical therapy team.