Almost everyone is aware of physical therapy as a common treatment following surgery or injury. However, few know it can also be a proactive measure to prevent injury, reduce the risk of falling, or improve athletic performance. Physical therapists are experts in movement evaluation and can perform both ergonomic and functional motion assessments. By assessing posture and body mechanics, we can provide personalized education on how to improve your biomechanics to prevent degenerative changes in your body. How do you lift, reach, sit, or run? Making small changes can result in tremendous improvement in function and reduction of pain or risk of injury.
Times have changed, and Colorado is a direct access state for physical therapy. That means that you can set up an appointment to be evaluated by a physical therapist directly for assessment and intervention. Some insurances still require a referral from a physician to pay for treatments, so check your personal insurance policy.
Did you know there are objective measurements and tests that a physical therapist can do to assess fall risk for the older adults in your life? There are many exercises and strategies to improve balance. Why wait until an actual fall and injury take place before seeking treatment? Medicare covers this service with a prescription from a physician to evaluate and treat for balance deficits.
Many healthy athletes work with a physical therapist before and after their competitions to maintain optimal health and performance. Among many effective techniques, trigger point dry needling is a tool that is often used to release taut tissues or muscles to improve performance and reduce hypersensitivity or pain. Trained physical therapists can quickly insert a sterile needle into the muscle to get a quick local twitch response. Dry needling is not acupuncture; it has a completely different philosophy for the intended goals, despite using the same needles.
All of us are too young to stop moving, and motion is lotion for our bodies. So utilize a physical therapist as an adjunct to stay healthy and to continue to enjoy our fit Colorado lifestyle.