There are many different factors that may put you at a higher risk of developing an injury. These include age, fitness level, physical activity and genetics, to name a few. The overall variability of each of these factors is why it's so important to take actionable steps to prevent possible injury.
Physical therapy is a great way to take preventive measures against injuries. Going to your PT’s office every year, regardless of whether you may think you need to go, is essential. The care providers in a PT practice have extensive experience and rigorous training. This allows them to accurately assess your current health state and any risks to it.
3 reasons why an annual physical therapy exam is key to helping you prevent injuries
Annual physical therapy exams can help patients avoid injuries in key ways. Here are some examples:
- A yearly exam develops a physical health baseline to identify strong areas — Yearly visits can help you and your physical therapist establish a baseline for various aspects of your health, including your fitness, strength and flexibility. Once you have a baseline, you can more easily see improvements in your physical health. It can also be much easier to avoid pushing yourself too far, which means you’re more likely to remain safe from injury.
- A yearly exam can identify areas of muscle weakness — On the flip side, your baseline and annual physical therapy visits can help your provider identify areas that may be particularly weak or could benefit from close attention. They can create a treatment plan for these problem areas that is tailored to your specific needs. Often, these tailored plans include targeted strength training.
- A yearly exam can identify areas of poor flexibility — Having weak muscles isn’t the only problem that can increase your risk of injury. A person who has strong muscles that lack flexibility may also have a higher risk of certain injuries. Annual physical therapy visits are a great form of injury prevention because a physical therapist can identify flexibility issues during them. Then, your specialist can help you find ways to address the problem area both in-clinic and at home.
Who can benefit from injury prevention-focused annual PT exams?
Anyone can get some benefits from having an annual physical therapy exam that is focused on injury prevention and overall wellness. However, there are certain people who may find such annual exams particularly beneficial, including:
- Workers with physical jobs — Many workers have jobs that involve a high level of physical labor. People with such jobs may be more likely to develop a work-related injury such as strains, sprains or soft tissue tears. However, they can improve their chances of preventing these injuries and more with an annual PT visit.
- Workers with sedentary jobs — Workers can develop injuries even if their job doesn’t involve a lot of physical exertion. Poor posture, workspaces or equipment with poor ergonomics, and more can lead to a wide range of injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. An annual PT exam can increase sedentary workers’ injury prevention chances by allowing physical therapists to point out posture issues, recognize the signs of unergonomic workspaces and equipment, and more.
- Weekend warriors — Weekend warriors tend to be highly active only a few days per week or per month. Yet they often want to push themselves to their limits as well. This combination can increase their risk of injury. However, the care offered during annual PT visits can be very helpful when it comes to a weekend warrior avoiding an injury.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for preventing injuries
Are you looking to take advantage of the injury prevention benefits an annual physical therapy visit can offer? Are you interested in more frequent PT sessions to help prevent injuries? Our Alliance Physical Therapy Partners practices are here to help you.
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need.
Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address issues that can lead to musculoskeletal injuries before they actually cause an injury.
Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.
Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your needs