If you’re like a lot of people, you start to take a little better care of yourself as you get a bit older. Maybe you started taking yoga classes to help keep your body flexible or you connect with a dietician to find ways to improve your health through your diet. If you’re looking for other ways to stay healthy as you age, we think you should consider preventative physical therapy.
What Is Preventative Physical Therapy?
People oftentimes assume that physical therapy is for people who are recovering from injury or surgery, and while that does make up a large portion of our client base, that’s certainly not all we treat. We also treat healthy athletes who are hoping to improve their athletic performance, and we work with adults through preventative physical therapy programs to help keep them healthy as they age.
Preventative physical therapy is becoming more common in a world that’s starting to become more health conscious. Many people head to their primary care physician’s office each year for their annual physical, and this evaluation looks for signs of potential issues, like high blood pressure and diabetes, but they simply can’t screen for any and all issues that could affect your health. That’s why a lot of people are now scheduling annual preventative physical therapy appointments.
A preventative physical therapy appointment is much like an annual physical in the sense that we’ll be using a short medical evaluation to establish a baseline and look for any potential issues bubbling under the surface. While we won’t draw your blood or ask you to change into one of those gowns, we will have you perform a number of simple movements to assess a variety of different physical functions, including:
- Fine motor skills
- Gait analysis
- Range of motion
We can also tailor this assessment based on any specific issues or concerns you have. For example, if you have been noticing that one knee has begun to feel weaker or less stable than the other, we can hone in on your knee health and develop a plan to help restore strength and function. Whether we do an overall preventative PT session or a hyper-specific session is up to you.
These preventative physical therapy visits are especially helpful at catching issues that oftentimes continue to worsen without intervention. For example, you may not be aware that your gait is putting extra stress on your hip and knee joints, or that your seated posture is causing problems for your lumbar spine. Many conditions like degenerative disc disease or arthritis can be managed, but they can’t be reversed, so catching these issues early can help you preserve as much function in the affected areas as possible, and oftentimes the early warning signs are evident during a preventative physical therapy assessment.
So if you are interested in taking a more involved role in your health, don’t just make your annual physical the only preventative exam you schedule this year. Also consider connecting with the team at OrthoRehab Specialists to book your preventative physical therapy assessment to ensure that more aspects of your health are screened and treated as needed. For more information, or to book your first appointment, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.