You probably see a physical therapist (PT) after an injury, whether it was a car accident or a sports trauma. Treating injuries is definitely the bread and butter for physical therapists, but “only” seeing these healthcare pros post-injuries might mean you’re missing out. It’s kind of like chiropractic care: Great when suffering from an auto accident, but also very beneficial even if you’re generally healthy.
Start by researching reputable PTs in your area, reading reviews and getting recommendations. Not every healthcare provider is a good match for patients. Interview them, try them out and trust your gut when “shopping” for a PT. Once you have a match, it’s time to look a little bit closer and discover how they can maximize your health:
1. No Body is Perfect
Nobody and no body is perfect, and things just get tougher with age. Physical therapy can help correct existing muscle, alignment or nerve issues. In fact, a physical therapist is a great professional to work in tandem with your existing healthcare team to make sure nary a stone (or complaint) is overlooked. While The Mayo Clinic may try to give you an idea of what aging will look like, it’s different for everyone.
2. You Forget About Chronic Pain
Obviously this isn’t always true, and it depends on the severity of the pain, how long it’s been there, and the person. However, what might seem to be minor chronic complaints to you, such as a knee that’s not up for running as often as you like, may be addressable with PT. In fact, Spine Health recently reported on some of the most common manual PT for spinal relief, and back pain is one of the most common complaints among adults.
3. You Want to Fight Aging
Everyone will age, but they’ll all do so differently. There are 60-somethings who complete tri-athlons and there are those who find it a struggle to go up a few stairs. PT can be a tool in helping you age as happily and healthfully as possible. It catches issues early, helps keep your body in check and the more healthcare professionals you have looking over you, the better.
4. It can Prevent Injuries
Surprisingly, PT can be a great way to prevent injuries before they even happen. Sometimes injuries occur because the body wasn’t cared for well enough to sustain them. After all, taking a tumble isn’t a big deal (usually) for a toddler, but it can be devastating for an elder.