When To Choose Your Physical Therapist Over Your Doctor

If something is wrong with your health, your first thought is to head to your doctor. Sometimes, however, a trip to the physical therapist can be more beneficial.

If something is wrong with your health, your first thought is to head to your doctor. Sometimes, however, a trip to the physical therapist can be more beneficial.

When something is wrong with your health, the typical first thought is to make an appointment with your primary care doctor. Although there is nothing with heading to your regular doctor first, there are some things that are better handled by specialists. These specialists are not people you need a doctor’s recommendation to see. Rather, they are people you should have as part of your regular health team.

Many people have their doctor, dentist, and sometimes even a chiropractor on speed dial. However, including a physical therapist as part of your health team is not only smart, it’s also proactive. Furthermore, physical therapists are better suited than many family care doctors to deal with certain health topics.

Physical Therapist Can Help With Injury Assessment And Prevention

We look at preventative care to include cancer risk screenings, vaccines, and overall wellness checks. However, how many of us look at injury risk assessment and prevention? Many people don’t think about injuries until after an injury. However, there are many ways to prevent many kinds of injuries. Physical therapists are highly trained in proper movement – also called biomechanics – and posture. Just like a cancer screening can pick up on cancer risk, so too does an injury risk assessment. A physical therapist can point out weaknesses that can lead to injury. This is beneficial to not only athletes but anyone who moves regularly, whether it’s walking or biking.

Avoid The Pain Meds

Physical therapy is instrumental in the fight against opioid abuse. Study after study proves that physical therapy is a more effective means of pain management than not only pain medication but also surgery. It works to not only manage pain but eliminate it completely. Physical therapists look to diagnose the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. For example, knee pain may be the result of hip weakness as opposed to something being wrong with knees. A physical therapist will be able to determine the root cause of pain and suggest rehab techniques that will help heal the area. Furthermore, they can help prevent future pain from returning with home workout suggestions.

Help With Movement And Alignment

It’s no secret that Americans see their doctor for back pain more than any other pain. However, a doctor is little help in being able to treat the issue accept for prescribing medication or tests. A physical therapist, on the other hand, will look at your alignment and posture to determine whether this is the issue. Many American’s back pain is from sitting too long, moving and lifting incorrectly, being overweight, or having bad posture. Physical therapy is unique in being able to tackle these issues by working on correcting alignment and movement issues as well as suggesting lifestyle changes that can bring about pain relief.

It may be tempting to call your doctor next time you’re in pain. However, it may be more beneficial to give a physical therapy clinic a call to see how a physical therapist can help you first. By avoiding prescription drugs, surgery, and further invasive testing, physical therapists can be a more effective way of battling pain.