October is Physical Therapy Awareness Month!

October is Physical Therapy Awareness Month!

How Can Physical Therapy Help You?

What is a Physical Therapist?
A physical therapist (PT) is a licensed healthcare professional. The education involved in becoming a PT is intense and takes approximately 7 years to complete from start to finish. Once a PT becomes licensed, he or she will be required to fulfill a continuing education requirement of 24 professional development hours every two years, as required by the state. This requirement is to ensure that the PT’s are staying up to date on research and medical advancements. The PT profession prides itself on practicing using current evidence-based practices.

How do you know if you would benefit from physical therapy?
The answer is simple. If pain is limiting you from doing your activities of daily living or the sport you love then PT can help you. Pain will occur in the body if there is an imbalance between muscles. The imbalance can cause stress on joints, increased tension of nerves, decreased circulation and eventually lead to a postural deformity. Manual therapy (joint mobilizations, massage, Astym etc. by your PT), modalities (ultrasound, electrical stimulation, cold pack, hot pack etc.), posture education, exercises and stretching can correct these imbalances and prevent injury or impairments.

What should you expect at a physical therapy visit?
Your physical therapist will sit down with you on your first visit (PT initial evaluation) and take a thorough history of your condition. Then your PT will complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you have limitations in range of motion, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination and gait. Based on the findings the PT will educate you on your diagnosis. Together you will develop a treatment plan and goals that will address your areas of limitations and your desires to get back to what matters the most to you.
From there, during your future visits, you will come in warm up, perform exercises that will address your deficits, manual therapy may be performed by your PT and modalities may be used to help decrease pain. Throughout your treatment, your PT will reassess your progress and modify or advance treatment as needed.
Initially, you should expect to come in three times per week. As you progress, your frequency may drop down to two times per week. Depending on your diagnosis and severity of injury you can expect to be coming to PT for 1 to 3 months. The goal is to have you better as soon as possible.
At the end of your treatment plan, when goals have been met, your PT will sit down again with you and look at the original deficits and measure to see if the deficits have resolved or are improving. Your PT will give you the feedback and send the information to your physician so they can see where you were and how you progressed. If the majority of the goals were met then your PT will discharge you with a home exercise program.

How can you be involved in your treatment plan for PT?
It is imperative for you to be an active participant in your treatment plan. Your involvement will determine your success. Coming in for all of your appointments and communicating with your PT is essential to your healing process. Research has shown that coming in two to three times per week enhances your healing process.

If you think you may be a good candidate for physical therapy then please call us at (248) 460-1572 and we will help you get back to what matters most.

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