We see an optometrist and dentist regularly because eyes and teeth are important. What about the rest of your body?
Have you lost range of motion, or strength? How's your balance and coordination? Are you performing in your favorite sport, or daily life, to the best of your ability?
Range of motion, strength, balance, and coordination all affect how you move. You might not notice small changes until you have problems like reduced range of motion, trouble lifting a heavy load, joint pain, or a sprained ankle from a fall, or repetitive or sporting injury. Or, perhaps you are a runner or athlete that wants
to ensure that you can keep doing your favorite sport to the best of your ability.
An annual PT exam can catch problems early, then correct them before they lead to something bigger. Physical therapy can help people of all ages to increase range of motion, strength, balance and coordination.
Following is what you should expect with an annual PT exam.
WHAT TO EXPECT
An annual PT exam is quick and easy. Your annual visit may include:
A history of your current condition or injuries, as well as a health history
Assessment of your strength, balance, flexibility, etc.
A review of your movement goals (Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to improve performance in your favorite sport? Or are you focused on getting on and off the floor easily playing with your grandkids?)
Your physical therapist will also perform a review and update of your exercise program
HOW IMPORTANT IS MOVING WELL?
There is strong evidence suggesting that movement is a valuable predictor of future health and resilience against disease.
Moving well can keep you healthier and help you live longer.
Physical therapy can also help athletes to improve build strength, improve outcomes, and recover from and prevent injuries.
Here are some examples of the power of movement when it comes to predicting future health:
1. Gait Velocity
Gait velocity is how fast you walk. Studies have shown that if your typical walking speed is over 1 m/s or 3.3 ft/s, you're likely able to complete typical daily activities independently. You're also less likely to be hospitalized and less likely to have adverse events like falls.
2. Get On and Off the Floor
A series of studies suggest that if you can go from standing to sitting on the floor and back to standing without using your hands, you're a lot less likely to pass away than someone who can't. It's called the sitting-rising test. You can find the instructions and examples with a quick internet search or at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitting-rising_test
Notice that both gait velocity and the sitting-rising test aren't specific to any one condition. The risk of hospitalization in the gait velocity studies was hospitalization for any reason. The risk of death in the sitting-rising studies was from anything.
So science says that moving well is incredibly important to your overall health. It's also important for your quality of life. We think moving well is just as important as your teeth, eyes, and taxes.
If you agree, get that annual PT exam scheduled!
Learn more about Therafit's physical therapy, aquatic therapy, and dry needling services to address motion, strength, as well as back pain, headaches, arthritis, TMJ, sports injuries, chronic overuse, and more. Call us at 978-452-9252.
First photo by Marcus Aurelius
Second photo by Styves Exantus
Why provide an annual physical therapy visit - https://www.apta.org/patient-care/interventions/annual-checkup
Physical Therapists' Role in Prevention, Wellness, Fitness, Health Promotion, and Management of Disease and Disability - https://www.apta.org/apta-and-you/leadership-and-governance/policies/pt-role-advocacy