October is National Physical Therapy Month and physical therapy is something that OHW does very well. I am a huge believer in physical therapy because I have personally seen the ginormous benefits five times in my life (1 bone break and 4 knee surgeries). I’ve shared my soccer injury saga with many of you but I attribute three main things as the reasons I was able to continue playing soccer at the college level and I am still able to push my knees pretty hard.
- An excellent surgeon. To go back into my knees several times and re-fix what was already re-fixed is quite the feat. Thank you Dr. Cooper in Dallas, TX.
- Physical therapy and excellent physical therapists. You cannot underestimate the power and benefits of the exercises, stretches and routines that PT puts you through. You also cannot underestimate the power and necessity of physical therapists that will guide you, push you, slow you down when needed and cheer you on when you want to quit.
- This is un-PC but I have to say that God did a miracle through all the musculoskeletal trauma, scar tissue, emotions and pain I had going on. During any recovery or rehabilitation, you need to have something bigger than yourself to hold onto.
That was my experience with PT five times over, but physical therapy can’t be boxed into sports injuries alone. And PT is more than just arthritis, hip replacements and low back pain (although PT is crucial in those conditions). This month we’ll be highlighting the expertise, tips and interesting information from our OHW physical therapists, but we also want you to understand the unexpected ways a physical therapist can improve your health, even if you don’t think National Physical Therapy Month has anything to offer you.
Here are several health conditions you might not realize can improve or be resolved with physical therapy.
Dizziness: Vertigo and severe dizziness cause sudden spinning sensations that can be unnerving and debilitating. Most cases of vertigo are caused by an inner ear problem, and often can be eliminated fairly quickly with PT exercises that develop balance.
Injury Prevention: Physical therapists can perform evaluations to determine muscle weaknesses or other imbalances that could lead to injury. If a problem is identified, the therapist will provide exercises to keep an issue, like tight hamstrings, from turning into something more serious, like a hamstring tear. Many injuries are the result of long-standing weaknesses and correcting those problems NOW can save you a lot of stress and money LATER. In one study, PT reduced ACL injuries by 41 percent. Here that loud and clear you young, female athletes.
Headaches: Many people simply pop a pill to treat symptoms of frequent headaches, not knowing they can possibly stop the pain by eliminating the cause. Some of the most common causes of headaches are poor posture, stress, muscle tightness and neck injury – all of which a physical therapist can address.
Concussion: A bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body can cause the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth in the skull = concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury. Concussions can stretch the brain, damage cells and creates chemical changes in the brain which can lead to long-lasting health effects like sleep problems, depression or memory loss. Physical therapists can work with your doctor to create a management plan that includes evaluation, treatment protocols and continual monitoring.
Jaw pain: Your mom was right about standing up straight, but she probably didn’t know poor posture is a common cause of jaw pain (temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ). A physical therapist can help you improve your posture (without nagging), strengthen back muscles and provide exercises that reduce jaw pain.
Pre-Operative Preparation: Sometimes surgery is necessary and our body cannot go on without a surgical fix. However, that does not mean you must resign yourself to surgery. Physical therapy in the weeks or months leading up to your surgery can strengthen muscles to prevent/minimize muscle loss after surgery, reduce pain before surgery, prevent further damage and prepare you mentally and emotionally for the recovery process.
Incontinence: Millions of women in the U.S. suffer from incontinence, or leaking urine, which typically results from pregnancy, childbirth, surgery or pelvic floor weakness. A physical therapist can help with a variety of techniques and exercises to relax or contract the pelvic floor muscles, preventing incontinence.
Building Up to Exercise: Unfortunately, some people are in so much pain they feel they can’t move or exercise-which then leads to more pain, tighter muscles and immobilized joints. PT is a great way to move your body, get your heart beating a little faster and receive some benefit from physical activity. With the guidance and help of a physical therapist, you won’t hurt yourself further and you might find progress in healing your body and your fitness lever faster than you thought possible.
Hopefully these are a few conditions you didn’t know benefit from physical therapy. You maybe also didn’t know that OHW offers physical therapy in Minnetonka, MN; Waconia, MN; Columbia Heights, MN; Superior, WI; and Silvus, IL. I can’t speak highly enough of the PT team we have and I know they don’t toot their own horn enough. October is a great month to give them a little extra love and respect for what they do. If you would like learn more our physical therapy services and locations or find out if one of our PTs has a specialty that might meet your need, give us a call at 952.224.1919. or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org