You probably don’t give much thought to physical therapy unless you’re recovering from an injury, but physical therapists are involved in much more than just rehabilitation. These highly trained health care professionals are skilled at diagnosing and treating potential problems before they develop into serious injuries, and in some cases they can eliminate the need for medications or surgery.
October is National Physical Therapy Month, a time to recognize physical therapists and physical therapy assistants for the important role they play in helping people improve their physical health and wellbeing. In honor of this special month-long celebration, let’s take a few moments to look at the benefits of physical therapy and how it could help you lead a healthier lifestyle:
Let’s be honest; most of us don’t stretch as much as we need to, and as we get older we begin to lose our flexibility. Having a physical therapist to guide you in flexibility training can improve your posture, decrease pain and stiffness, increase your range of motion and prevent joint degeneration.
Greater balance and range of motion
Balance is a serious concern for older patients who are at greater risk for fractures. A physical therapy program that is focused on improving balance and range of motion can decrease the risk of falls, improve physical independence, and even reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and knee osteoarthritis.
Less need for medications
We often rely on medications to manage our pain, but this only treats the symptom and not the root cause. Several physical ailments, such as lower back pain and knee osteoarthritis, can be greatly improved with physical therapy, thus reducing the need for medication. Physical therapy has also been proven to be equally as effective as surgery in patients with meniscal tears, rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, knee osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease (Source: Move Forward).
Physical therapy can be a vital component in helping you maintain optimum physical health. This October, take some time to consider what physical therapy can do for you, and call your nearest center to schedule an appointment. A physical therapist will be happy to discuss your fitness goals with you and put you on the fast track to better health.