This October, in honor of National Physical Therapy Month, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is outlining the Benefits of Physical Therapy.
Physical therapists are experts in improving mobility and motion, and pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of daily life, your ability to earn a living, your ability to pursue your favorite leisure activities, and so much more.
Improve Mobility & Motion
Movement can help you prevent obesity, which may be responsible for at least18% of US adult deaths. Meanwhile, recent studies suggest that prolonged sitting can be unhealthy, and that walking just a little bit more each day can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Consistent movement is also vital to maintaining a healthy balance system, and that’s important because falls often lead to significant, costly injuries.
Physical therapists work with their patients and clients of all ages and abilities to expand, restore, and maintain motion.
Avoid Surgery and Prescription Drugs
Many people are referred to a physical therapist in order to rehabilitate from a major medical trauma or surgery, but increasing research suggests that treatment by a physical therapist is often an equally effective – and cheaper – alternative to surgery and prescription drugs for numerous conditions ranging from back pain and degenerative disk disease to meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis.
Although direct access laws vary by state and insurance plans differ, anyone in the United States can arrange a screening by a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. Through individualized treatment plans designed by physical therapists, patients can sometimes achieve the same results without the expense and side effects of surgery and prescription medication.
Participate In Your Recovery
Physical therapists routinely work collaboratively with their patients. Treatment plans can be designed for the patient’s individual goals, challenges, and needs. Receiving treatment by a physical therapist is rarely a passive activity, and participating in your own recovery can be empowering. In many cases, patients develop an ongoing relationship with their physical therapist to maintain optimum health and movement abilities across the lifespan.