Have you had your annual PT check-up?

Written by Jennifer Buono, PT, DPT

Every year we make an appointment with our primary care doctor to have our yearly physical. At the appointment the doctor monitors such things as height, weight, blood pressure, current medications, provides necessary vaccinations and even performs blood tests to monitor our cholesterol levels. These measures are checked in an effort to catch specific medical conditions early so that treatment can be started quickly. Similarly, we go to the dentist twice a year for regular screenings and cleanings to prevent cavities and detect problems in our oral health. So why don’t we have an annual check-up with our physical therapist to assess our overall musculoskeletal health and wellness?

According to a recent report by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative an estimated 126.6 million Americans, or about 1 in 2 adults are affected by musculoskeletal conditions. That number is greater than the number of Americans living with chronic lung or heart conditions. Problems in our musculoskeletal system contribute to chronic pain and loss of function. Poor joint mobility can increase our risk of developing degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis and tendinopathies.

Physical therapists specialize in the examination and treatment of the musculoskeletal system which consists of the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues that help us move and perform all the activities that we enjoy with ease. An annual visit to a physical therapist could help to identify problems within the system such as weakness, immobility or faulty mechanics which may be contributing to pain or poor movement quality and function. Faulty movement patterns can lead to degenerative changes within the muscles, ligaments and joints. Getting a physical therapy “check-up” helps to identify these impairments early so that an effective treatment plan can be established to help correct the impairments before they become significant problems or lead to degenerative changes that impact your quality of life. During the physical therapy evaluation, the therapist can assess such things as balance, functional strength, aerobic capacity and endurance, pain, movement patterns for activities you regularly perform (lifting, sports, work station set-ups) and flexibility.

While physical therapy is important after an injury has already occured, being proactive and seeking the guidance of a physical therapist before a musculoskeletal issue occurs can help individuals stay more physically active and possibly prevent chronic painful conditions from impacting their quality of life.

If you are trying to start back into a fitness program, or trying to return to a physical activity such as golf, tennis, hiking, biking or running or you are experiencing pain or movement difficulties during your daily routine contact our office to schedule your physical therapy evaluation and get help before a potential injury occurs.


It's About Time!

Congress has finally done the right thing for seniors in the USA by eliminating the hard cap on physical therapy and speech therapy.  It is through the advocacy efforts of professional associations and concerned citizens that members of Congress finally took appropriate action and are allowing exceptions to occur when medically necessary.  Individuals no longer have to worry about needing physical therapy a second time in the same calendar year.  To find out more, contact your physical therapist.

How Physical Therapy Helps Retirees Keep Dreams Alive During the Golden Years

Are you among the millions of Americans who have high aspirations for how you’ll spend the extra time during your post-retirement years? Whether you plan to travel the world, pick up fly fishing, spend more time woodworking or sign up for a golf league, your physical fitness level will be a factor.

A 2010 study suggests that the fitness declines we typically attribute to advancing age are largely caused by living sedentary lifestyles—which are on the rise due to the prominence of desk jobs in the workplace and activity-limiting personal technologies including smart phones and voice-activated remote controls in the home. Still, this runs contrary to the widely held belief that any declines in our physical abilities are caused solely by biological aging. Do we really have control over how active we’ll be in our “golden years”?

In a word, absolutely. The study—which examined 900,000 running times of marathon and half-marathon participants aged 20 to 79—found no significant age-related performance declines in those younger than 55 years old, and only moderate declines among the older cohorts. In fact, more than one-quarter of runners aged 65 to 69 were faster than half of the runners aged 20 to 54.

And for those thinking that these runners must have been lifelong enthusiasts of the sport, the study revealed that 25% of runners aged 50 to 69 were relative newcomers—and had started marathon training within the previous 5 years. The researchers concluded that even at an advanced age, people in the “non-athlete” category who engage in regular training can reach high performance levels.

If this revelation is intriguing, then perhaps it’s time for you to get moving! If you aren’t currently active, then you likely have questions and concerns about where to start. And if you regularly engage in physical activities, then you’ve probably set goals that you’d like to achieve. Either way, there’s no shortage of tools and resources to help you live a more active lifestyle but one reliable place to start is with a physical therapist here at Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness.

The benefits of beginning with a physical therapist consultation are many: PTs are trained to assess your abilities and limitations, consider your health concerns, demonstrate safe exercises and build a plan to increase strength, function and mobility. Whatever your passion is, physical therapy will help you be fit and injury-free so you may enjoy life’s many pursuits.


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  Disclaimer:  The information in this medical library is intended for informational and educational purposes only and in no way should be taken to be the provision or practice of physical therapy, medical, or professional healthcare advice or services. The information should not be considered complete or exhaustive and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes without first consulting with your physical therapist, physician or other healthcare provider. The owners of this website accept no responsibility for the misuse of information contained within this website.