As a physical therapist, I am often asked what physical therapists are able to treat. Sometimes, people are not aware of the variety of things that physical therapists can treat. We often make a list of the different types of conditions that can be helped by physical therapy:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Knee pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Rehabilitation following injury and/or surgery
- Parkinson’s disease
These lists can be helpful and we have many services and specialists that address all of these conditions and more, but inevitably things get left off the list. To truly understand what a physical therapist can help treat, you need to know that physical therapists are movement specialists.
Movement is a complex task that uses many different systems of the body, including the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. Not only that, but the cardiopulmonary system keeps the body supplied with oxygen and blood flow to allow the movement. Many other systems of the body also affect how well we move. The fact that physical therapists need to have such comprehensive knowledge how the body works is part of the reason that most physical therapists that are graduating now are DPT’s (Doctors of Physical Therapy).
Therefore, if you have pain, discomfort, stiffness, or tightness with movement, physical therapy can help. If you have instability or poor control when you move, physical therapy can help. Because we can address problematic movement, we can help people move more efficiently and reduce their risk of injury by assessing their movement patterns before they start to have pain.
Anyone would benefit from having their movement patterns and postures assessed, because they can address pain before it starts, or can help to get rid of a nagging discomfort before it becomes an injury such as tendonitis or a muscle strain. Athletes (such as cyclists and runners, as well as golfers, hikers, skiers, rock climbers, etc) and those with active lifestyles particularly stand to benefit from an assessment of their movements so that they can minimize any downtime from poor movement and maximize their strength and efficiency to participate in the sports and activities they love.
If you would like to be assessed to find out how efficiently you are moving, call for a free 30 minute consultation. We will be happy to take a look and help you find any problem areas that can be addressed either before they start causing pain or before they become a significant problem. If you do have an injury, we can also treat that to help get you back to all the things you love to do without pain.