Enter 2020: a new year, a new you. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. January brings health and wellness goals back to the top of everyone’s list. But we’re not here to bombard you with a list of “Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions.” Sorry to disappoint! Chances are you’ve heard it all, and you already know what you need to do to improve the quality of your life. It’s up to you to take the plunge.
Yes, of course, it’s a great idea to make New Year’s resolutions. And it’s true that resolutions force us to consider what we value most and help to structure our time, which can increase a person’s well-being. However, it takes more than willpower to stay on track with your resolutions, especially if you are plagued by chronic pain or recovering from an injury. Why even let it get to that point?
New Year’s resolutions are essentially goals. And your number one goal starts with taking care of you. That’s why we’re serving up a 2020 New Year’s resolution for you!
Find a sense of control and choice over your long-term health.
Direct access to physical therapy allows you to do just that with quick, easy, reliable therapists you can trust. Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts, trained at a doctoral level, who know the human body inside and out. They can identify which patients are appropriate to be seen in an outpatient PT setting, and which ones need to follow up with MDs.
Start your healthcare journey in 2020 with professionals that have your best interests in mind and who can refer you to people you know and trust.
Mind. Body. Spirit.
Let’s get straight to the point, shall we? Physical therapists are the gatekeepers of healthcare.
Few outside of healthcare realize that most physical therapists hold doctorate degrees in getting people better. In fact, one of the most common misperceptions is that PT is best served as a treatment option during recovery from surgery or injury and is often viewed as a secondary strategy for pain management.
It’s time to set the record straight—PT can treat so much more, including autoimmune diseases. From prevention to treatment to rehabilitation of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries and everything in between, physical therapists can help.
Considered early in the injury or healing process, physical therapy can improve your overall physical well-being, speed recovery and cut costs. It provides patients with comprehensive treatment solutions for the whole mind, body and spirit continuum.
Communication first and foremost with your physical therapy provider offers many benefits, including preventive measures, patient-centered care, evidence-based practices, and conservative therapies. Everyone, regardless of age or ability, has access to proven methods of treatment used to eliminate or reduce pain, restore function, and improve quality of life.
Let’s explore a bit more.
Sure, annual physicals usually don’t make you any healthier. A yearly health checkup with your physical therapist, though, can put you in the driver’s seat to forge your own track for success.
The goal of preventive care is to thwart diseases and injuries before they occur. Perhaps the most important preventative service of all: assessment of your movement system. As we age, many people think an increasing level of pain is inevitable, and that may be true for some. However, physical therapy can treat far more symptoms than patients are generally aware of, allowing for a more active, pain-free life.
Establishing regularly scheduled health checkups helps to keep your body stronger for longer, leading to a better overall quality of life. Opinions vary on the frequency of these checkups, based on age and other risk factors. Regardless, the benefits of consulting with a health professional on a regular basis can far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
There are three levels of preventive care, all three of which are important components of disease prevention and routine health maintenance:
- Primary prevention includes interventions such as immunizations that can completely prevent the disease in people at risk. Think flu shot, measles vaccines and tetanus shots.
- Secondary prevention identifies established risk factors for disease. Checking blood pressure, cholesterol levels, examination of your muscles and joints and more are examples of maintenance that can identify abnormalities, thus leading to effective interventions to prevent serious disease or injury from developing.
- Tertiary prevention is defined as the process for optimizing health once a disease has been diagnosed. An example would be consulting a healthcare professional to develop a management plan or wellness program to prevent a heart attack if a patient has heart disease.
A cornerstone to achieve positive outcomes is acknowledging the psychology of opt-in and motivation to improve engagement between therapist and patient. This relationship is what drives the success of patient-centered care and why finding the right balance for patients is so important and highly sought after by CORA clinicians.
Patient-centered care is a quality of personal, professional, and organizational relationships. The value of a patient-centered approach is based on deep respect for patients, and the obligation to care for patients on their terms. Patients are heard, informed, respected, and involved in their healthcare journey.
At CORA, patients are included in creating a treatment plan customized to meet their needs.
The good news is evidence-based practice and patient-centered care work hand-in-hand. Evidence-based practice integrates clinical expertise with the latest and best research evidence, along with known patient values, to deliver the best possible care.
More good news: Physical therapists are the movement experts with extensive training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology (the study of movement), and differential diagnoses.
No pain? No problem. Consult with a therapist regardless. Physical therapy can identify issues before certain movements become a persistent problem. A proactive approach to your health can save time and money by eliminating unnecessary testing and imaging, doctor’s visits, and even preventing needless surgeries.
If you are experiencing pain already, the same applies. Pain is the body’s natural way of informing us that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Physical therapists can evaluate patients and provide interventions that may decrease immediate pain and improve overall functional status without the side effects of pharmacological strategies (i.e. anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, opioids) or surgical interventions.
Maybe it’s time you beat pain with PT. There’s no reason why you need to limit your ability to exercise and fulfill your other New Year’s resolutions, or live with chronic or even acute pain on a daily basis.
Conservative management is an approach to treating back pain, neck pain and related spinal conditions utilizing non-surgical treatment options such as PT.
Physical therapists work closely with primary care physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and healthcare providers of all types to identify the most appropriate and proactive treatment plans based on a patient’s needs.
A recent analysis conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) evaluated more than 216,504 adults with new-onset lower back pain. The study explored the relationship between the type of provider seen at the initial visit and patient outcomes. Although findings indicate that PT is not the most sought after method of care, patients that chose physical therapy decreased odds of filling an opioid prescription within the first 30 days by 85%.
Results from the research revealed that conservative therapies (i.e. physical therapy) not only tend to decrease low back pain, but lower the need to seek other treatment by providing the opportunity to incorporate evidence-based nonpharmacological approaches.
There is an abundance of research that supports this claim on the benefits of therapy for treating back and neck pain, sprains and strains, joint pain, and even tendon tears!
A New Year, A New You
At CORA, we want to help you find that sense of control and choice over your long-term health.
Nothing is more important to us than your health. And if we can’t help, we know the right type of healthcare provider who can. At an annual examination at CORA, a physical therapist will perform an in-depth evaluation of the health of your neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems by:
- Performing strength and balance testing
- Observing as you perform functional activities
- Assessing your posture and biomechanics
- Determining whether you might be at risk for degenerative changes to your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments
- Taking a preventative approach to keep minor issues from becoming major problems
This simple, painless evaluation is all it takes to keep your mind, body and spirit on a positive trajectory to good health. And direct access makes it easier than ever to get one step closer to a new you in 2020.
Call a CORA Physical Therapy clinic today to schedule a complimentary injury screen, and we’ll have you speaking to a therapist within 24-48 hours. No referral required!