As a physical therapist I see people everyday who are all at various stages in recovering from some sort of an injury and/or surgical procedure. These individuals all have goals, they all want to get back to doing something they love, or return to an activity without the limitations of pain. My job is to help them reach their goals as safely and efficiently as possible. What if you aren’t injured, what if you don’t have pain, but still can’t seem to hit the goals you want? This is an area where people don’t often think of going to a physical therapist, but where they can be a huge asset.
Physical therapists (PT) are experts in the way your body should interact with the world, and because of that they can be invaluable members of your performance team. Our bodies are designed to work in a very specific way, and overtime they can fall into bad habits. There will be people who try to tell you why the habits form, but to be honest, no one really knows 100% why they form, the important thing is that they do. From a performance perspective the key is to catch them early and resolve them before they lead to bigger problems.
By evaluating the way that you move, PT’s can determine many things. We will look for how much movement you have (quantity), how you achieve that movement, where it comes from and what muscle groups you utilize to achieve it (quality). We will then compare this not only to so called “normal” values, but also to the specific needs of your given activity.
Once all the information is collected the real fun starts. We then get to work with you to correct any patterns that we think could be negatively affecting your performance, or worse yet lead, to injuries in the future. Through corrective exercises we can teach you to improve the quality and efficiency of your movement. Meaning not only will you be better equipped for your given activity, but you will able to use less energy as well.
This process, while invaluable, for athletes, isn’t only for athletes. It can be helpful for just about anyone from recreational runners and triathletes, to people who find themselves stiff, sore and fatigued after work each day.
From the moment we start interacting with the world as infants our brains begin to form patterns that they will use to program our movement, unfortunately we all inevitably form some bad habits, the key is to identify and correct them.
Physical therapists are no longer only for rehabbing after surgery, or treating painful conditions. They can be a vital part of preventing those painful conditions and allowing you to perform at the highest level possible for you for the longest period of time. Why wait and react to a problem when you can prevent one from occurring.