Most people don’t think of seeing a physical therapist as part of their overall wellness and health. Moreover, most people think of physical therapy as injury or surgery rehabilitation or for athletes. However, physical therapy offers more benefits than simply injury rehabilitation. In fact, it may be so beneficial outside of injuries that you may want to think about including it in your health and wellness repertoire.
Improves Physical Function And Movement
Many people head to physical therapy after an injury or surgery or when they’re in pain. However, physical therapy can help even those people who are not considered injured and don’t necessarily have pain, but may have a movement-related problem. For example, the elderly benefit greatly from physical therapy as it strengthens important muscles and improves mobility and alignment. Those suffering from a disability or other medical condition may also benefit greatly from seeing a physical therapist to improve physical function.
No physical therapists are neither athletic trainers and should definitely not be confused with personal trainers. You shouldn’t see a physical therapist if you’re just looking for a new training program or a better workout. However, physical therapy can still improve your fitness greatly. By focusing on alignment and posture, as well as engaging the necessary muscles, you may reach a new performance level you never thought possible. Posture and alignment have everything to do with exercising properly. To get the most out of every exercise, you want to have a full range of motion with the proper alignment. A physical therapist will not only make sure that you’re achieving both of these things, but they will give you extra exercises to strengthen assisting muscles. Furthermore, changing posture and alignment can even improve performance as movement becomes more efficient.
Prehab Physical Therapy
You’ve heard of injury rehab, but have you ever heard of injury prehab? Injury prehab is the prevention of future injuries. It seems impossible to do, but there are ways of mitigating injury risk for many sports and areas of life. By learning to lift properly and use the core, you can avoid many back injuries. With proper training, listen to your body, and move correctly, you can avoid many overuse injuries. By increasing stability and control, you can prevent slipping and falling. Even by strengthening the right muscles, you can avoid other injuries and pain. A physical therapist is going to be able to diagnose your injury risk and come up with a program to help lower that risk.
The Home Program
One of the biggest benefits of physical therapy is that it doesn’t have to be a regular visit for longer than it should be. Once you’ve completed the program, a physical therapist will give you a home program to continue so that you don’t lose ground or revert back.
Should physical therapy be part of your usual routine? Yes and no, as it depends on your goals and what you want to accomplish. Eventually, however, the goal will be the home program that your physical therapist assigns you. After that, the only time to visit your PT would be to ask questions or if you’re having issues.