3 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You

3 Ways Physical Therapy Can Help You

When you think of October, many things come to mind. Pumpkins, falling leaves, football, crisp evening air, to name a few. One thing you may not think of is physical therapy.

That’s right, October is National Physical Therapy Month! Often, physical therapy does not come to mind until it is too late and you are in extreme pain or unable to perform a favorite activity.

Who are Physical Therapists?

Physical therapists are dedicated to improving health, mobility, and quality of life for their patients. They obtain doctoral degrees and are highly trained in evaluation and differential diagnosis. A physical therapist understands when a patient is appropriate for treatment and when they should be referred to a physician for further testing. Additionally, therapists can attain knowledge in all areas of physical therapy including Orthopedics, Neurology, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Pain Management, Cardiovascular Rehab, and Women’s Health, to develop more comprehensive treatment plans and restore function.

Let’s take a look at three ways physical therapy can help you!

Physical Therapy as an Alternative to Opioids

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Surgeon General have identified physical therapy as an alternative method to opioids for pain management? The opioid epidemic is raw. Physical therapists are working to combat the issue by offering helpful options for patients with pain. This means patients with back, shoulder, or pain in any body region may have a better outcome if they pursue physical therapy before opioid medication!

Physical Therapy to Treat Dizzinessundefined

Maybe your issue isn’t pain, but dizziness. You may have something known as BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. BPPV is one of the most common causes of vertigo, creating the sudden sensation that you are spinning. This is a common problem in the aging population, and is often under-treated or not treated properly. A physical therapist is able to perform some quick and easy tests to determine the cause of your vertigo. They can then provide rapid intervention to eliminate it swiftly.

I bet you never thought of going to a PT for your dizziness, did you? Now you have a great option and won’t feel like you are endlessly spinning on the tea cups at the amusement park!

Physical Therapy in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital

Perhaps you or a loved one have no choice but to enter an inpatient rehabilitation center. Some of these scenarios would include sustaining a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or progression of a serious neurological condition. In these scenarios, physical therapists would be an integral part of a skilled team of individuals working collaboratively to get you to an improved state of health. A physical therapist will work to help you regain function and mobility.

How do I find a Physical Therapist?

If you or a family member are dealing with any of these issues, you should ask yourself a very important question: “Where can I find a physical therapist?”

An online search will reveal many outpatient physical therapy facilities close to your location. In most cases, there are two or three options right around the corner! You will likely need to discuss the choice of physical therapy with your physician first. As of January 1, 2015, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to seek some level of treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a referral from a physician. However, regulations may vary from state to state, so be sure to call the facility ahead of time and ask to be seen without a physician referral.

When your pain or limitations appear ceaseless, physical therapy may be the answer you are looking for. Now get out there and find yourself a physical therapist that will work to get you back to better health!

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Bryce Hollinger, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT is a graduate of Ithaca College with Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She has worked in outpatient physical therapy for the past 10 years. During that time, Bryce completed an Orthopedic Residency Program and Spine Fellowship Program, obtained an Orthopedic Certified Specialist designation, and became a Certified McKenzie Therapist. She is currently the Clinical Performance Manager for the Clinical Services Department at Upstream Rehab. Bryce resides in Central Pennsylvania and enjoys adventuring with her 3 children, her French Bulldog, Henry, and husband, Kyle.

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