There has been a lot of buzz around the clinic lately about our role in injury prevention and how we help people maintain a mobile and active lifestyle - so I thought it would be a good topic of conversation this month.
There seems to be a stark misunderstanding about what we as physical therapists actually do. Most people think we only help people recover after surgeries or sports injuries. That seems reasonable since most of us know of someone who had to attend therapy after a hip, knee, or shoulder surgery.
BUT, did you know that we can also help PREVENT surgeries and other aches & pains by spotting areas of vulnerability BEFORE you even know they're there? I hope so because you're no therapy rookie - you've had at least one rodeo, but even therapy "veterans" have some confusion.
Just this week we had a patient tell us "had [she] known we also work with people to PREVENT injuries, she would have been coming a LONG time ago!"
Also this week, I had a former patient call and ask if there was anything we could do for his son to help him get through his football season healthy. Even though his son was feeling great, he wanted to see if we could detect any areas where his son could use more stretching or strengthening to help fortify him against injury.
Another example of our role in injury prevention is AFTER you've finished your recovery. This past week we had several "graduates", one of which was really worried about having a flare up after therapy. He was FINALLY pain free and back on the golf course after months of misery with his back and sciatic pain.
This is a really common concern for people because your regular therapy visits can sometimes feel like a safety net. After explaining how we also help people STAY healthy and active, he saw how important that was for him and wanted to schedule a tune-up.
We have countless examples of people who are enjoying a pain free life where they can continue doing the things they love like bowling, dancing, cycling, walking, jogging, gardening, traveling, playing tennis, and MORE since they realized there is an opportunity (a service) that specifically
helps them achieve this.
One of my favorite examples is a patient who now comes in for a tune-up every couple months. He first started his journey several years ago as a patient with plantar fasciitis and then shoulder pain. The shoulder pain had plagued him for years and once that was finally gone, he never wanted to go back to that place. He's had outstanding success by prioritizing his health, making key decisions to stay active, and comes regularly for what he calls his "Awesome Visits" and tells me each time that he can't believe he's 64 years old and wakes up with NO PAIN!
If you're interested in learning more about our prevention programs, give us a call at (504) 407-3477 and see how we can help you too!