Monday, March 26, 2012

PAP == 'Prepare and Prevent' with Physical Therapy

If you are reading this, you probably have already encountered a reason to see a Physical Therapist. For those of you that have never had to, the question you might ask yourself is, when is the right time to see a Physical Therapist?

It wouldn't surprise you that many initiate PT because of an injury, painful condition or neurological disorder. On the other hand, it might be surprising to know that physical therapy can be essential to resolving other conditions like vertigo, TMJ dysfunction, headaches or bowel and bladder dysfunction.

Accidents do happen and physical issues arise, seemingly from nowhere, and when they do, care is certainly needed. A visit to a physical therapist can open up a world of possibilities when we step away from the disease model and embrace a prevention approach to PT.

Too often, resources are used to recover and not prevent! What if those same visits for treatment of acute back pain were used to learn how easy it is to practice good posture (if you know that's not one of your strong points) or to find out specifically, what muscle imbalances you might be developing and what to do about them.

What if those nagging aches or pains that have slowly changed your lifestyle were addressed BEFORE they reached "injury level" and you discovered what you needed to do for physical longevity, BEFORE, you started making those lifestyle changes?

Many of us have an annual medical exam to follow the progress of our overall health. We are all used to practicing good dental hygiene because our dentists have done a good job of teaching us how to take care of our teeth and see them once or twice a year for....Yes That's Right...PREVENTION!

Those 32 bones in our mouth tend to be well taken care of, but what about the other 108 bones you use to sleep, sit, stand, walk, climb stairs and do everything else? Now wouldn't it be novel to have a physical therapist consultation from time to time, to find out specific ways to keep your body supporting all those activities throughout all the stages of your life?

So to start to answer the question we started with, the right time to see a physical therapist can come for many reasons, but the message here is that knowing specifically how to improve or maintain your body and feeling the results of doing so can contribute significantly to your quality of life.

Sara Lewis, PT
Duffy and Bracken Physical Therapy

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