Do I Need Physical Therapy? Five Signs to Learn the Answer
Do I need physical therapy? Ask these five questions to help you determine the answer.
Physical therapy isn’t only for individuals who are recovering from a serious injury. It’s beneficial for those in their youth, those in their golden years and everyone in between. In fact, with lower back pain on the rise, physical therapy has become a top choice for those needing back pain relief over surgery or potentially addictive pain medication. But, physical therapy isn’t just for back pain. Many patients seek physical therapy treatment for arthritis, work-related injuries, sports injuries, post-operative care and much more.
Whatever the condition, maybe it’s time to see a physical therapist.
Physical therapy can help you decrease the severity of injury or illness related impairments and related activity limitations, keeping you from participating in your typical activities. If you’re curious about whether you should wait it out or go for a physical therapy appointment, ask yourself these five questions to help you determine the answer.
Five Questions to Help You Determine If You Need Physical Therapy
1. Do I Need Pain Relief?
In many cases, dull aches and pain can be addressed with at-home treatments like rest and ice. However, if you have consistent pain that does not subside after a few days, it is time to seek out physical therapy in New Jersey. Therapeutic exercises and manual therapy techniques can help you minimize the pain as quickly as possible. Such therapies can also lower the risk of further injury and help you begin the road to recovery.
In general, any kind of sharp and centralized pain should not be ignored. It might be tempting to push through the pain and be tough, but this could be an indication of a more serious condition such as a stress fracture or muscle strain Severe impairments such as these can be assessed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy who can then direct you to the next best action to take in your road to recovery.
At the end of the day, you know your body best. If something feels off, it’s better to be safe than sorry and seek out a professional opinion.
2. Do I Want to Avoid Surgery or Improve the Outcome from Surgery?
In many cases, physical therapy has been shown to be just as effective (if not more) than surgery to address a number of conditions, such as osteoarthritis, meniscal tears and rotator cuff tears. Like all conditions, there are a lot of variables that go into the decision-making process and should be assessed on a case by case basis.
Understandably, surgery is sometimes unavoidable. In those cases, pre-surgical physical therapy, also known as pre-hab, has been demonstrated to help accelerate the post-surgical recovery process. Studies have shown that beginning physical therapy a month or so before a surgery can significantly speed up your recovery time. In most cases, pre-hab can provide a better outcome than for those who did not have pre-surgical physical therapy.
Pre-hab can be beneficial by helping to prepare the body and the mind for surgery, reduce overall pain and complications and shorten recovery time. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states that pre-hab can also improve the overall outcomes of surgery, and even help reduce overall treatment costs. The stronger your body is before the surgery, the greater the chance of a successful surgery. At very least you will be comfortable with the process of physical therapy making post-surgical sessions much less stressful.
If you are planning on having surgery, contact Twin Boro Physical Therapy in New Jersey to speak with one of our qualified team members. Our NJ physical therapy practice is dedicated to educating patients on the best treatment options available. To ensure the best results, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment today to determine whether physical therapy can help you avoid surgery and/or prepare you for the procedure and post-surgery rehabilitation with pre-hab.
3. Do I Need Injury Prevention?
It’s safe to assume most patients have never been to physical therapy unless it was due to an injury. But physical therapy is an important form of preventative care. Whether you’re looking for a competitive sports advantage or need to work on your posture, physical therapy can help. Risk of work-related injuries can also be lowered when a qualified physical therapist evaluates the workers ability to perform work tasks.
What if you’re not injured? Should you still go to physical therapy? Going to physical therapy when you feel fine can be beneficial for many individuals. During a routine physical therapy exam, your physical therapist can detect a number of potentially risky symptoms and help to prevent future injuries, falls, and other potentially debilitating conditions. But many of our preventative patients, such as athletes, are looking for ways to keep their bodies functioning properly and help to avoid injuries.
Will you be covered? What many people may not realize is that New Jersey allows individuals to visit a physical therapist without needing a referral or prescription from their doctor. This is referred to as Direct access laws. To be sure, check with your insurance first and verify before you make an appointment to come in.
4. Do I Want to Manage Aging?
As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density, increasing the risk of injury and illness. For example, balance can be an issue increasing the risk for falls and serious injury. Physical therapy can help aging adults learn how to make lifestyle modifications (like walking up and down stairs safely), improve mobility and implement strength exercises to prevent injury and increase quality of life.
It’s important for individuals to include physical therapy treatment for aging well. The knowledge and treatment they provide can help to prevent falls and injuries, reduce chronic pain, and help aging adults stay healthy and independent.
5. Do I Need Help Controlling a Condition?
Physical therapists may be best known for helping patients decrease pain levels or regain mobility after surgery, but it extends beyond that. Physical therapy can be beneficial for those who need arthritis rehabilitation, geriatric rehab, hand therapy, neurological rehabilitation, TMJ, spinal orthopaedic rehab, vestibular rehabilitation and much more.
Physical therapists can also work with individuals to help prevent loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-focused programs that result in healthier and more active lifestyles.
Did you know that Twin Boro Physical Therapy also offers a Free Injury Screen to our communities throughout New Jersey? This includes an assessment by a licensed physical therapist, a 30 minute screening, and a personalized plan.
Twin Boro Physical Therapy in NJ
If you are still confused about whether you need to start physical therapy or not, give us a call. The therapists at Twin Boro will be able to guide you in the right direction.
If you are having difficulty with movement or completing day-to-day tasks due to pain, decreased range of motion or lack of strength, you may benefit from working with a physical therapist. Visit one of our physical therapy clinics in NJ to learn more about how physical therapy can help you. With 42 locations throughout New Jersey, we make it easy to find convenient, effective physical therapy options. Simply search for your closest location using your zip code. The team at Twin Boro Physical Therapy look forward to helping you get healthy and guiding you down the road to recovery.