Chances are that you have heard the old dental health adage: “Floss only the teeth you want to keep.” For many, this might have been the “a-ha moment” that helped them start a new healthy habit.
What if you apply this principle to the rest of your body’s maintenance routine? What if you stretched the muscles that allow you to perform the activities you want to keep, like reaching or squatting down? What if you performed weight-bearing exercises to maintain the strength of only a few of your more than 600 muscles or 200 bones? While this is an extreme example, it’s possible that some parts of your muscle and bone system may be inadvertently neglected without the guidance of a physical therapist.
Physical therapists are trained to identify and treat a wide range of movement disorders
including sports injuries, such as sprains and strains, as well as conditions including arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Physical therapists work closely with patients to develop individualized plans based on thorough assessments and detailed patient histories. A personalized care plan will include some combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to achieve optimal physical function for you.
Physical therapists can address proper posture and body mechanics to help patients participate in common daily activities, relieve pain and improve function. When it comes to keeping bones healthy and reducing risk, for example, physical therapists design effective exercise programs and suggest healthy habits.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an injury or other painful ailment to schedule time with a physical therapist. In fact, physical therapists encourage you to consider visiting a PT as often as you schedule regular checkups with your dentist, primary care physician or dermatologist – at least once a year!
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