Choose PT First
How can Choosing PT as Your First option save you time and money?
You wake up one morning with a new ache or pain in your neck or your knee- what do you think about first?
What the heck happened? What did I do this time?
Next you start to think about how to manage your new problem.
Maybe you should rest it?
Maybe you could stretch it out?
Maybe you could just take an over the counter pain medication like Advil, Tylenol, or Aleve?
Or what about a heating pad or ice pack?
These are all reasonable strategies for that occasional short term ache or pain. But if it persists or reoccurs- what should you do next?
Exploring Your Options: Do nothing
Doing nothing is always an option you can choose. Perhaps the ache or pain will resolve on its own? Perhaps if you stop running or playing ball or rough housing with the grandkids you won’t have this problem?
But giving up being active and doing the things you love also has consequences!
Will you be reducing your cardiovascular fitness? Would it result in decreasing your strength and or flexibility?
Forgoing activities that you enjoy with friends or family effects may affect your happiness. Don’t settle for less than your best life! Seeking an answer to your problem from a physical therapist can result in getting the right care you need now to stay active and keep doing the things that are important to your health and happiness.
Rely on Medications
Taking medications that you can buy either over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor is certainly another option. Manyl medications mask pain and don’t do much to address the underlying problem. If you rely on pills, what types of side effects might they have? Are they addictive? How might they interact with other medications or supplements you are already taking? Will you need to keep taking them indefinitely to keep your problems at bay? A Physical Therapist can identify and address the cause of your problem and not only provide prompt relief but teach you how to avoid or manage any recurrence while reducing or eliminating your reliance on pills.
Visit your doctor
Sometimes a visit to your doctor can help you identify what your problem is through a physical examination or imaging like x-rays, CAT-scans or MRIs. But did you know that research has demonstrated that other than an orthopedic surgeons (who should be consulted for fractures or severe/persistent injuries) a physical therapist is the most skilled evaluator of musculoskeletal problems?
A physical therapist will perform careful, hands-on diagnostics and work with you to begin to immediately address the problem - often avoiding X-rays and expensive diagnostics. Physical therapists can correct spinal or joint alignment problems, stretch muscles that are tight, and provide soft tissue work that reduces pain and spasms. The also provide you with just the right exercises and movement interventions you need to conquer your problem and help you avoid or manage it in the future.
Choose PT First!
The good news is that there is strong evidence that seeing a PT first can result in faster resolution of your problem, with less reliance on medications, fewer doctor visits, fewer images and overall less cost of care! With PT first you will get answers to what is going on, receive hands on care, and learn how to prevent or manage your condition in the future! To learn more about Choosing PT First see: