Should I See A Physical Therapist?
In one word: yes. If you think you might need to see a physical therapist for whatever condition is bothering you, you probably should. Heck, even if there’s nothing wrong right now, most people will see long-term benefits — including prevention of future illness and injuries — by consulting with a physical therapist before their problems begin.
Physical therapists work with people of all ages, from the seriously ill to elite athletes to every average person in between, utilizing conservative treatment methods to heal, treat, and prevent injuries and disabilities. With a focus on body mechanics, ergonomics, fitness, and wellness, here are a few of the things accomplished by physical therapy:
- Pain relief
- Restoration of function and movement
- Adaptation to existing injury
- Facilitation of healing
- Prevention or delay of the need for more drastic steps such as surgery
Physical therapists use non-invasive, non-medical tools to improve body function. They can analyze your posture and work to correct problems that might eventually lead to injury. They’ll give you exercises to perform to strengthen weak areas and bring mechanical balance back to your body. And they’ll show you the proper way to perform simple tasks that otherwise could cause major problems in the future.
Physical therapists are skilled at diagnosing potential problems before they become serious, whether its frozen shoulder or carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain or even chronic headaches. All of the following are legitimate reasons to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist:
- You have an injury requiring rehab
- You want to prevent an injury
- You’ve been in a car accident
- You are in pain
- You have arthritis
- You have fibromyalgia
- You have problems with balance or mobility
- You have a repetitive use disorder
- You work at a desk all day
- You are a young athlete
- You are recovering from surgery
And much more. The bottom line is that if you have any concerns about moving around due to pain, limited range of motion, or decreased strength, a visit with a license physical therapist is a great idea. If you’re still not sure, you can discuss your options with your physician first (in some states this is a requirement; if you don’t plan to see a physician first, you’ll also want to check with your insurance company to see whether your physical therapy visit is covered without a referral).