Physical therapy can be a wonderful treatment for mild aches and pains to severe and crippling conditions. In most states, you have the ability to see a physical therapist first without the need of a referral making it easier than ever to treat your pain and symptoms. There are many benefits to physical therapy throughout the course of your life.
- Many people will try to ignore their pain, “tough it out,” or try things they’ve Googled online to relieve their symptoms. Often, patients tell me they are left second-guessing themselves, especially if they find conflicting information online or from friends & co-workers. Instead of feeling lost and confused, they can come to physical therapy as their first treatment to ensure they are doing the best interventions for their body. One of the most common things I hear at the end of a physical therapy plan-of-care is, “I wish I would have done this sooner.”
- Physical therapy can be a first-line defense against invasive and costly surgery. Before going under the knife, it is often worth trying a few weeks of physical therapy to see if your pain can be reduced or resolved.
Work with your doctor and other healthcare providers
- Physical therapists work inter-professionally with other healthcare providers to ensure their patient receives the best care. We will do all we can to coordinate care with your doctor or with other healthcare professionals you may be seeing.
Boost your Immune System
- Harvard Health suggests that regular exercise can strengthen the body’s immune system.1 For some patients, physical therapy represents the majority or only source of physical activity for their day. Exercise or physical activity contributes to general good health and therefore, a healthy immune system.
Resume activities or participate in new activities
- A patient’s main goal for physical therapy (aside from reducing pain/symptoms) is often to resume an activity they once loved but are no longer able to do due to their pain. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing a high school athlete return to their sport, hearing about a mother being able to hold her child without pain, or listening to an older gentleman explain the first round of golf he has been able to play in years. It is also not uncommon for patients to develop a healthy new habit of going to the gym or begin an at-home exercise plan after seeing the benefits that stretching and resistance training can have on the body!
Avoid Prescription Medication, including Opioids
- Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, the current opioid epidemic has not been a focus of the media. However, this epidemic is still very much ongoing causing disastrous side effects. Patients may not like the way these medications make them feel and can become motivated to resolve the pain through non-prescription and more natural sources like physical therapy.
Learn Proper Positioning and Body Mechanics
- Especially with more people working from home and e-learning, proper ergonomics is crucial in ensuring musculoskeletal health. Your posture can have a direct correlation with back pain, overhead shoulder range-of-motion, and fall risk. Physical therapy can help with pain associated with working from home and exercises/stretches to help prevent it.
Reduce Fall Risk
- As people get older, balance and fall risk become major topics of concern. One devastating fall can spiral into many different health ailments. Those at risk of falling are often unable to fully participate in activities with their spouse, friends, and family members. Physical therapists work with patients to build strength, boost endurance and improve balance to decrease the risk of falls.
Enhance Overall Quality of Life
- Your physical therapist will ask about your goals at the first visit and will create treatments to help you achieve them. Patients learn exercises, stretches, and techniques they can use long after they discharge from physical therapy to help combat any pain and symptoms in the future.
No matter your age or activity level, everyone can benefit in some way from physical therapy. One of the greatest parts of physical therapy is that you can participate wherever you are! Aside from traditional clinic settings, Athletico also offers virtual telehealth services and at-home physical therapy. Schedule a free assessment today to get started with a physical therapist near you.
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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Publishing, Harvard Health. “How to Boost Your Immune System.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.
Clinton Boone is a physical therapist who enjoys treating various orthopedic conditions and vestibular disorders. Clint enjoys spending time with family, lifting weights, and running in his spare time – having just completed the Chicago Marathon in 2022. Clint works and lives in Manhattan, IL, and loves treating members of his local community. He can be reached at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments.
I like how you mentioned that physical therapy can help with balance and reduce falls. My grandmother has a difficult time going up and down the stairs. Physical therapy may be able to help her navigate them more safely.