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6 reasons to seek preventive physical therapy

Preventive Physical Therapy
4 minutes, 45 seconds

It is estimated that half of all Americans over the age of 18 will develop a long-lasting musculoskeletal injury, or damage to a bone, ligament, tendon, or muscle. While they may follow basic steps for general wellness — like getting adequate sleep, going to doctor’s appointments and adhering to a healthy diet — they may forget to prioritize the parts of their body that give them movement.

Maintaining musculoskeletal health is extremely important, especially as you age and your chance of injury exponentially increases. Taking preventive steps toward protecting your musculoskeletal health can: 

  • Reduce your risk of getting fractures, sprains and tendinitis. 
  • Reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis
  • Ease chronic pain
  • Increase your mobility and stamina. 

There are many ways to maintain your musculoskeletal health while living an active or sedentary lifestyle. Physical therapy is an excellent way to build strength, flexibility and mobility so that when accidents happen, your risk of developing long-term injuries is slim.

Preventive physical therapy is often used to help athletes perform at their best. For example, one study found that preventive physical therapy significantly decreased the injury rates of soccer players. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to take advantage of preventive physical therapy. In fact, anyone can reap its many benefits

6 reasons you should seek preventive physical therapy

No matter your occupation or hobby, you have the ability to lower your risk of developing injuries. What you do now to prevent injuries will only strengthen your body as you get older.

Physical therapists are major resources that can help you promote your health and protect you from serious bone and tendon damage down the line. You should seek preventive physical therapy because it can: 

  1. Reduce your risk of injury.

    Many people make the mistake of thinking that physical therapy is only for people who have already been injured. This is not the case. Physical therapy can be extremely useful in preventing injuries from happening in the first place. Through targeted exercises, they can help people strengthen their weak points and address mobility concerns. With greater strength comes better protection from sudden strains, blows, or falls while on the job or on the field.

    In addition, physical therapists can evaluate your biomechanics — while you run, walk, or type — to ensure that you are moving your body safely. This way, you can be confident in your body positioning and alignment, whether you’re sitting at a desk or kicking a ball.
  2. Offer valuable opportunities in one-on-one sessions.

    You may have specific, detailed concerns that you haven’t shared with your doctor. Physical therapists work with patients in one-on-one sessions in which a patient can ask questions specific to their musculoskeletal concerns, such as their limited range of motion, pain level, stress level and sense of fatigue.

    At the same time, physical therapists can better tailor treatment plans to patients in a one-on-one space. They can ask you questions about your activity and pain levels so that you can improve mobility at your own pace. 
  1. Provide education on nutrition and healthy habits.

    During a physical therapy session, your physical therapist may ask you about your eating and exercise habits. This information can help them understand your body better.

    While physical therapists are not dietitians, they can offer general dietary advice based on your activity level. An appropriate diet can maintain your strength, improve joint health and boost injury prevention. In addition, a healthy, active lifestyle can help you live longer with less injury and illness.

    Physical therapists can help educate and encourage you to maintain nutrition and exercise habits that supplement your preventive physical therapy exercises.
  2. Improve your athletic performance.

    While you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from physical therapy, preventive care can greatly improve athletic performance. Physical therapists can use a range of techniques like joint mobilization to help athletes improve their sport performance — regardless if they’ve sustained an injury. Physical therapy sessions can help athletes increase their flexibility, balance, speed, and coordination during practices and games.
  3. Improve your posture.

    Many people spend hours bent over their phones or computers, which can lead to a stiff neck and an interrupted range of motion. In addition, the shoulders can easily become slouched, tight and painful, which can then lead to back complications.

    Achieving proper posture can improve overall wellness, reduce headache and back pain prevalence, and increase your energy levels. Physical therapists can perform range-of-motion exercises that can help realign and straighten your neck and spine before and after long working hours.
  4. Relieve your tension.

    For many people, muscle tension, tightness and stiffness can be common. It can also be painful, especially when it compresses or irritates nerves in the tissue. Performing physical therapy stretches can help relieve your tension and ease symptoms like headaches. Physical therapists can also perform soft tissue mobilization to target knots and release them. In addition, they can offer proven relaxation techniques, like breathing exercises, to ease stress from your body and relax your tight muscles.

How do you know if preventive physical therapy is for you?

Anyone can go to physical therapy for preventive care. People who work long hours at a desk or while on their feet can equally benefit from physical therapy techniques. Physical therapy can be be especially helpful for:

  • Athletes.
  • Employees who work in physically demanding environments. 
  • Office workers. 
  • Those with chronic conditions.
  • Those who live an active lifestyle. 
  • Those who live a sedentary lifestyle. 

Accessing a physical therapist for preventive care doesn’t have to be complicated. In many states, you don’t need a doctor’s referral to start your physical therapy sessions. This means that preventive physical therapy can be just a click away.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch preventive PT 

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 prevent potential injuries and unnecessary pain. 

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 injury or condition.

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