Once in awhile, we all have those moments where we suffer from minor aches and pains like back pain, a pulled muscle, or a stretched tendon. While these conditions are uncomfortable to deal with, they are usually not bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. However, we’re usually left wondering: Do we stay at home and treat the injury ourselves or go and see a doctor?
Thankfully there is a perfect option in these situations – a physical therapist (PT).
Physical therapists are university trained health professionals that assist people with muscle injuries, pain, weakness, and other movement problems. They are experts in diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation and also specialize in areas of sports medicine and fitness. There are many reasons to see a physical therapist, and here are the top 5.
1- Physical therapists treat a lot more than you think
Physical therapists treat a wide variety of conditions, from your typical ankle sprain to post-surgical ACL repair. Here are some of the most common reasons people see a PT:
- Neck pain
- Knee or hip replacement/injury
- Shoulder dislocation or separation
- Lower and upper back pain and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Motor vehicle accident related injuries
This is not an exhaustive list of all the conditions that PTs deal. If you are in doubt about your problem, be sure to call a local PT to see what kind of treatment options they might be able to provide.
Many doctors are restricted to 15-20 minute sessions with each patient. In contrast, physical therapists are able to spend more 1-on-1 time with their clients. A typical consultation can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. In that period of time, your PT can
- discuss your case with you in detail,
- guide you through some exercises (that you can also do at home), and
- recommend various treatment options.
The amount of time you are able to spend with a PT can make a big difference to the understanding of your illness or injury. It means that in the long run, you are less likely to make multiple return visits.
3- Chronic pain
Chronic pain is a medical condition that is notoriously difficult to treat. Many people look for long term, natural remedies that do not involve being on pain killers for long stretches of time. This is where physical therapy may come in handy. The causes and treatment of chronic pain are still poorly understood, but many patients have found physical therapy to be a great alternative.
4- Sporting injuries
A PT should be one of your first points of contact for everyday sporting injuries like
- shin splints, or
- foot problems.
As long as the injury does not require immediate medical attention, then PTs are a great resource to use. Their knowledge of the bones, muscles, and joints is unparalleled and in many cases, they have a better understanding of body kinetics than doctors. There is also a good chance that even if you do visit a doctor they will likely recommend you see a PT as well.
5- Treatment of long-term problems
If you have sustained a long term injury from a motor vehicle accident, undergone knee surgery, or need any long term rehabilitation, then a PT is a must. Any serious joint or muscle damage will always require a long term healthcare response which usually includes a PT component.
PTs are an underused resource. Most people do not know about all the great services they offer and the wide number of injuries they treat. Keep PT in mind when minor, non-urgent accidents happen.
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19 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Go See Your Physical Therapist”
Thanks for sharing your blog about physical therapist. I agree with what you said about how there are people who look for long term, natural remedies that do not involve being on pain killers for long stretches of time. I’ve had scoliosis since I was young, and I always have back pain because of it. For me, pain killers can only provide a temporary relief which is why I don’t opt on asking for medications. I will make sure to visit a physical therapist as soon as I can to start with the proper treatment for me.
Thank you for the 5 benefits of visiting a physical therapist. I definitely think a physical therapist is a huge benefit when trying to either recover from an injury or deal with the long-term effects of one. They are there to help motivate you to continue working and getting the injured area back to the level of functionality it used to be at.
It’s great that this article explains how physical therapists spend 1-on-1 time with their clients, which can help you understand your illness or injury. This would be important to ensure you get the best treatment for your issue and find ways to prevent it from happening again. When choosing a physical therapist, you’d probably want to research local professionals and find one that has experience with your situation so that they have the knowledge and skills to help you.
Thank you for sharing these insights about the benefits we could get on visiting a physical therapist. I didn’t know that this could treat a lot of pains or injuries we have. My mom is constantly having body pains since the rain has started pouring. I’ll tell her to visit a physical therapist, we’ll just ask for some recommendations from our friends and family.
It makes sense that most physical therapists can treat anything really small or big, whether it is a sprain or recovering from a surgery. My wife is going to be doing a little surgery on her knee to ensure that she can walk okay. We’ll have to get her checked into a short-term rehabilitation service that has a physical therapist to take care of things!
We hope her rehabilitation goes smoothly!
I never knew physical therapists treat muscle weakness. I feel like my arm has been very weak since I broke it. Thanks for the information on the benefits of physical therapists.
My wife keeps getting bad back pains at night, so we are considering visiting a physical therapist. I like your point about how a PT can help with long-term rehabilitation too. If it turns out to be a serious injury, hopefully we can set up a treatment schedule.
I was not aware of the variety of treatments that physical therapists do. I have a lot of respect for those in the medical field and I never realized the significance of physical therapists. The next time I injure myself, I will turn to the physical therapist for reliable treatment.
I like how there is much more than physical therapists treat than we know, like neck pain and muscle weakness after surgeries. I recently tore my labrum and I am going to have to get surgery on it soon. Reading this actually makes me excited for physical therapy knowing that they will treat more than just my shoulder pain!
PTs are a great option after surgery, even a necessary one! We hope you find it helps your recovery.
I liked what you said about physical therapy helping with sporting injuries like shin splints. I remember when I got injured while running cross country in high school, I stressed a tendon and needed to see a physical therapist to help stretch it out so that I could run comfortably again. I think that it helped me to understand my injury better and it’s taught me a lot of important exercises and stretches to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
My wife fell last week and really hurt her hip in the process. It has myself and a lot of our family concerned. You mention that physical therapy can help with injuries to your hip. This might be something to consider to speed up the recovery process.
I thought it was helpful how you mentioned that physical therapists can actually treat neck pain. I’ve been having some neck pain lately, and I’m not sure why. I’d like to avoid medications, so I might look into physical therapy to help fix this issue.
I was in a car accident about a week ago and have been experiencing a lot of pain over the past few days. I didn’t realize that a physical therapist could help me to overcome some of the injuries I’ve sustained. It’s definitely something that I’ll be looking into and discussing with my doctor. Thank you!
My brother was recently in a car accident, so he is considering going to a physical therapist for a few weeks. I like the fact that physical therapy sessions are 1-on-1. This sounds like a great way for him to focus on the most injured areas and get immediate feedback.
I want to make sure that I get the right physical therapist. It makes sense that I would want to find one that can help with neck pain like mine. That way I can ensure that I feel better sooner.
It’s good to know that a physical therapist can help you lessen your back and neck pain. I suffered from back pain since I started working the night shift, and I’m looking for a therapist that can help me manage the pain. I’ll look for one soon.
That is awesome that physical therapy can be a great alternative to medications. That is something that I would want to have if I were in chronic pain. This way, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting addicted or forgetting to take a pill.