Your car needs regular maintenance, so you probably have a mechanic. Your eyes and teeth are important, so you see your optometrist and dentist regularly. You get an annual physical from your family physician. You might even be getting ready to see your accountant to get your yearly income tax done.
What about your physical therapist? Do you and your family have one? If not, you should. Your body is a lot like your car. It’s got multiple systems, all of which are
complex, and all of which have to be working well for it to function. Physical therapists are experts in maintaining, diagnosing, and treating the movement system. Like the braking or ignition system in a car, most people only think of the movement system when it’s not working the way it should.
Don’t Neglect Your Movement System
Similar to the systems in your car, problems with your movement system are much easier to deal with if they’re caught and treated early. This prevents small issues from becoming larger ones. For example, if you have a little bit of weakness, and balance that’s not quite up to par, improving those early could prevent a sprained ankle, or a fall and a broken wrist.
An annual movement screen from your physical therapist can find small issues that you may not have noticed with your strength, balance, flexibility, or coordination. Many of these minor issues can be fixed with a few exercises at home, or with just a few visits.
What to Expect when you see the physical therapist
A screen of your movement system is quick and easy. Your annual visit may include:
● Discussion of your medical history, including any previous injuries or surgeries.
● A comprehensive assessment of your strength, balance, and flexibility.
● You and your therapist will discuss your movement goals. These may include things like, “Do you want to run a marathon?” “Do you want to get up and down from the floor easily while playing with your grandkids?”
● A review and update of your current exercise program which will include specific exercises or activities designed to help you reach those goals.