In a world looking for a quick fix for pain, why not choose a solution rather than masking the symptoms? If you have developed a pain or injury, seeing a physical therapist early can help you before it becomes worse. Physical therapists are educated experts in movement who are trained to help improve quality of life. They use means through patient education, hands-on care, and prescribed movement. Here are 5 reasons to choose physical therapy early for your pain or injury.
#1. Get Better, Safely
Many people who are in pain avoid activity out of fear that they might “make it worse.” In many cases, staying sedentary can cause more pain and actually make the injury worse overall. A physical therapist can thoroughly examine your injury. Then, they will create a plan of care designed for you and your needs.
They set goals to reduce and manage your pain while helping you recover and preventing future injury. They will also help you safely improve your function, movement, and quality of life. Throughout your plan of care, they will adjust your goals to ensure the best possible care.
#2. Avoid Surgery And Pills
While it’s important to keep moving when you’re feeling pain, it’s even more important to do specific movements in a certain way and avoid other movements to prevent any flare-ups. Depending on whether your pain is acute or chronic will also dictate which movements are safe and beneficial to your recovery.
Acute pain is sudden, sharp pain from an injury that has happened within the past 2-3 weeks, and can be easier to treat at times. Chronic pain is pain that has lasted longer than three months and can be more complicated in nature. A physical therapist will determine the root cause of your pain and teach you safe movements that are specific to your condition. Unlike surgical interventions or medications, physical therapy focuses on treating your injury rather than just masking the symptoms.
#3. Recover Quicker
Many people who choose physical therapy within the first two weeks of feeling pain may require less treatment than those who don’t. In fact, studies have found that early physical therapy intervention decreases pain, reduces the need for medication, and even improves disability.
Physical therapists will go beyond simply treating your pain, they will teach you to understand your symptoms and educate you on lifestyle factors that can influence your condition. They will also provide helpful strategies for you to manage your pain and accelerate recovery.
#4. Prevent Further Problems
When pain happens, your body goes into defense mode. This can cause you to have new movement patterns in order to avoid the pain. As a result, you may develop new issues if the root problem isn’t dealt with in a timely manner. Seeing a physical therapist when you first experience pain may prevent these issues from becoming chronic.
Your physical therapist will also provide an exercise program for you to do at home in addition to your physical therapy treatment. These exercises are designed to strengthen and stabilize key muscle groups without risking further injuries. You can even continue the exercises after you complete your plan of care to prevent pain from returning.
#5. Achieve Your Goals
Simply put, your health and quality of life all depend on how well you’re able to move. Unfortunately, pain can make movement more challenging. You may find yourself limiting your hobbies and errands. Maybe you’re not spending time with friends and family, or even not doing daily activities you were once able to do with ease.
During your first visit, your physical therapist will set goals and discuss the treatment plan they have designed for you. They will work with you throughout your recovery to help you reach your goals. More importantly, they will help you get back to enjoying the things that you love.