When physical therapy comes to mind, most of us think that we need to go to physical therapy after a surgery or some type of injury. Physical therapy is so much more than just rehabilitation after surgery. It is using exercise as a form of medicine. Physical therapist are trained to diagnose, educate, and prevent musculoskeletal injuries while promoting the overall health and wellness of our patients through exercise and encouraging an overall healthy lifestyle. In this article we will first discuss exactly how physical therapy is a benefit in of itself and then how the community benefits from physical therapy!
Benefits of Physical Therapy
One of the first topics of discussion for the benefits of physical therapy is that physical therapy can prevent injuries and save money for you and the healthcare community. In an article on the website ptforpain.org titled: “The Value of Physical Therapy”, it states that early access to physical therapy services saves about $5,000 in health care cost every two years! It also goes on and states patients who directly see a physical therapist without a physician’s referral, have had 86% fewer visits! Also, to note, the American Heart Association has suggested people with heart disease seek treatment from a physical therapist first before the possible need of medication.
Secondly, the component of physical therapy being beneficial: Education. Physical Therapists help educate patients on how exercise helps heal and prevent injuries. You are probably thinking… I don’t need to know what is wrong with me, I just want you guys to know what is wrong and treat it. Well, I could not agree with you more on that.
Our goal as physical therapists is for our patients to understand how exercise is a wonderful tool for health. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is for you, the patient, to not need our services. My goal is to always have the patient feel empowered to continue their own exercises at home. Think of a physical therapist as a guide for your treatment. We are not there to tell you to do this because we say so but, we tell you to do this exercise and help you understand the importance of the exercise to get you back to 100%.
Now, the community benefits of physical therapy. Physical therapy in the community can provide cost-saving measures for patients. Also education. Educating includes, patients feeling optimistic about themselves and to feel more in control of their health. Physical therapy is a lower-cost service that we see through healthcare. And if you have ever stepped into a physical therapy clinic you can understand why. Most clinics virtually have nothing in them other than weights, tables, and maybe a couple exercise machines. It is this way for a reason! So that we help our patients understand exercise that they can do at home cost free!
Exercise alone can prevent many health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, low back pain, psychological impairments, and even cancer. Physical therapy utilizes a free resource, which is exercise, to enhance the health and well being of our community. Sometimes we need to utilize exercise in a safe environment (after a surgery or injury) to prevent other complications. But, incorporating exercise programs out in the community can help people save on long term health care cost. And most importantly help you to understand you are in control of your health and wellbeing.
I hope the next time you come across a free work out session in the community you will understand the benefits and take advantage of this life saving medicine called exercise. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us at Hohman Rehab click here! We would love to work one on one with you to design a program that best fits your needs!
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