Get Your Life Back
Physical therapy has multiple facets. Although the word 'therapy' implies treatment of injuries, the entire scope of a physical therapist extends well beyond 'therapy'. In fact, we can help improve every aspect of your life by improving movement and transforming the health of your bones, muscles, and joints.
Children, adults and seniors (and in some cases, infants) can benefit from physical therapy. Together can raise the bar on every aspect of your physical capability, by helping you perform every single movement more efficiently. Imagine if you could walk faster and climb stairs without getting out of breath. Imagine being able to lift heavy boxes you couldn't lift before and being able to play sports with your children and grandchildren. Imagine being able to go out in the community with family and friends without having to worry about leakage? Ask yourself this "What if I could turn back the clock and become a healthier version of myself?".
Your physical therapist will help you establish the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Some foundational principles include:
Stretching: Find a way to include stretching into your daily routine. Associating it with something you normally do every day, like brushing your teeth or letting the dog out, can make it easier to remember. You can set vibration alerts on your phone to remind you to take a break from work. Simply stand up, step away from the computer and stretch your neck and back. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate. Keeping healthy muscles and joints mobile throughout the day helps improve health and vitality.
Hydration: A well-hydrated body is a necessary foundation for physical health. Make it easy to keep drinking throughout the day by keeping a water bottle at your desk. Remember to sip water at regular intervals. Don't wait till you are thirsty, because the thirst reflex is a delayed indication of hydration. If you wait till you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Core Stabilization: Balance in the human body is almost as important as balance in life. Challenging yourself a little every day can strengthen your core muscles (abdominal region, trunk and lower back) and improve proprioception. Try standing or sitting, close your eyes and hold your arms out at shoulder height. Now try picking one leg up, slowly, beginning by lifting your heel and rolling forward through your toe. Try to hold your leg up for a few seconds. When you put your foot back down, do it slowly, setting down your toe, then the ball of your foot, and finally your heel. Try to increase the duration of the one-legged stance each day.
As 2018 ends, this is an ideal time to renew your commitment to your health and well-being. Physical therapy is a viable alternative to surgery and medicine. In fact, it can help improve everyone's fitness and energy levels. Physical therapy can certainly help with pain relief, restoration of function and improvement in strength and mobility, but there is a lot more that your therapist can do for you.