5 reasons to see a physical therapist (even if you haven't been injured)
Think you have to be injured or recovering from surgery to see a physical therapist? Think again.
"A large portion of patients we treat are a result of overuse, muscular imbalance, improper exercise progression and poor movement form," said Richard Watson, PT, OCS, supervisor of UK Sports Rehabilitation. "Physical therapists are at the core of preventive medicine. There is an old saying: Nip it in the bud. You are better to be evaluated and treated before your pain or dysfunction turns into a chronic condition."
In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, here are five reasons you should consider seeing a physical therapist:
1. They can help prevent future injuries.
Your physical therapist takes your current activity level into account and can then teach you how to be aware of your movements in order to prevent injury.
2. You want to boost your athletic performance or just improve your ability to do your daily activities.
Whether you're a professional athlete or weekend warrior, physical therapy can help you maximize your efforts – from gardening on a daily basis to shooting hoops after work – in the safest manner possible.
3. If you want to start a new exercise regimen or sport, your physical therapist can help you do it safely.
Say you're a swimmer, but you want to start running or biking more. Your physical therapist can help you figure out the safest way to adopt a new regimen, especially if your new routine is working different parts of your body than you're used to.
4. You save time and money.
Surgery isn't always avoidable, but participating in physical therapy can potentially prevent certain injuries that could lead to surgery and long recovery periods.
5. You can learn new exercises and stretches to do on your own.
Physical therapists can also teach you how to safely and effectively perform certain physical therapy exercises at home. Depending on the exercise, these regimens can help improve strength, range of motion, flexibility and balance.