Did you know that inadequate physical activity results in an additional $117 billion in healthcare costs in America each year? Did you also know that poor physical activity habits is one of the leading causes of a reduced quality of life and a reduction in independence for countless Americans every year? Unfortunately, this issue has only been heightened by a pandemic that has made us less active over the last 12-18 months. Physical activity and physical therapy is extremely important to your health, which is one of the reasons why we try to raise awareness of this importance each October during National Physical Therapy Month!
What Is National Physical Therapy Month?
National Physical Therapy Month is celebrated every year in October, and it’s designed to spread awareness of the importance of physical activity and the benefits of PT while also celebrating all the professionals who make it possible! Each year also has a specific theme, and this year the theme is “Keep Moving – And Giving Back.” We’ll touch on each aspect below.
The “Keep Moving” part of the month is pretty straightforward. Physical therapists and healthcare professionals want to encourage everyone to keep moving and stay active each and every day. Activity and exercise are the easiest ways to develop muscles and keep joints healthy, which will only make it easier to keep moving as you get older. Conversely, inactivity and an overall sedentary lifestyle can lead to muscle atrophy, joint deterioration and other problems like weight gain, which can put more stress on crucial areas of your body.
“Keep Moving” is also important after an injury or surgery. Rest is fine in the immediate short-term, but after a couple days you’ll tend to see more progress with activity and targeted strength training. This will help improve structures that are dealing with trauma and attempting to heal. Physical therapy can help to keep you moving and aiding the healing process after injury or surgery.
The second part of the theme is “And Giving Back,” and that aspect focuses on helping others while also working to raise awareness for physical therapy as a whole. For example, on the American Physical Therapy Association’s website, they offer a number of different ways that PTs and other healthcare professionals can give back and raise awareness. The APTA is currently celebrating their 100 year anniversary, so they’ve started the 100 Days of Service program that aims to help do good for the final 100 days of 2021. You can learn more about that and how you can get involved here.
They also encourage PTs and healthcare professionals to look the part while they are doing good in their community. Run a charity 5K with others from your PT department and wear your scrubs or your organization’s t-shirts during the run, or do something as simple as adding the National Physical Therapy Month logo to your email signature. Little things like that can help remind people that they should strive to stay active or work to overcome any injuries with the help of physical therapy!
You too can help to spread the word about the importance of physical therapy. If you’ve benefited from PT, let others know, especially if they have an injury that’s bothering them. And if you’ll be visiting our clinic this month, make sure to wish your physical therapist a happy PT Month! We hope you’ll help us celebrate and spread the word this October! For more information or to set up an appointment, give our clinic a call today at (612) 339-2041.