General Health

Should Physical Therapy Be Used To Prevent Injuries?

Should Physical Therapy Be Used To Prevent Injuries?

While most people don’t have “physical therapy” on their list of annual check-ups, we do see a lot of clients regularly – even when they’re not injured. We often treat people who might notice a slight ache here or there, or maybe they don’t move the way they used to. They begin to think about their future and how they want to live longer, feel great, and be able to keep up with the kids as they age. In order to try to prevent injuries, future back pain, or surgery, many turn to physical therapy as opposed to other forms of pain management like massage, prescription drugs, chiropractic visits, or injections.

WHO CAN BENEFIT
Regular visits to a physical therapist can be very beneficial for just about anyone. But what if you’ve been to therapy in the past, do you need to keep going? Let’s say, for example, you’ve visited a physical therapist for pain in your arm and the pain was completely resolved, there isn’t much of a need to come back in and have your arm looked at annually. However, we often find that patients are rarely 100% healthy in every part of their body. Just because your arm pain has been resolved, the point of a regular check-up is to make sure everything else is functioning correctly and to address other issues before they lead to another major incident. We’ve highlighted a few specific groups of people who can really benefit below.

Athletes can prevent injuries
Most of our preventive athlete clients are looking for ways to keep their bodies functioning in top condition and avoid a future injury. We recommend things like a gait analysis or functional movement screen (FMS) because they allow us to detect potential weaknesses that could lead to an injury later on. If you’re concerned that regular physical therapy checkups could be costly, consider the alternative. Consulting with a physical therapist before training for a marathon is a good idea to avoid a future injury and to learn what your weaknesses are and what you body needs during training. This consultation will cost you considerably less than getting injured, and we often find that even annual visits can prevent injuries. If you come in once and we find a few potential issues, we can give you some exercises to do at home and chances are, you won’t need to return for a follow up visit.

Should Physical Therapy Be Used To Prevent Injuries?Prevent injuries with physical therapy

Medicare Coverage & Skilled Maintenance
There has been a longstanding myth that Medicare does not cover services to maintain or manage a person’s current condition when improvement is not possible. This has been a touchy subject for a number of years, but in order to simplify the details, Medicare will cover skilled therapy to restore or improve a condition, to prevent or slowly decline a condition, and to maintain a condition. If you’re not sure whether you or your loved one falls into any of these categories, contact our offices and we can help you determine what your coverage will be. In any case, people who fall into the category of skilled maintenance would benefit greatly from a regular physical therapy checkup.

WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
Nearly every state, including Michigan, allows you to visit a physical therapist without a referral from your doctor or approval from your insurance company. If you have any questions you can call one of our clinics and have us verify your insurance before you come in. We also offer free consultations where we can talk about your health and see if physical therapy is a good option for you.

When it comes to your health, you know your body better than anyone else. Living with pain or an injury is never fun, so whether it’s in a physical therapist’s office or not, learning new forms of physical activity, and ways to care for your body that are safe and appropriate for you, is the most important thing.

 

Northern Physical Therapy is helping patients prevent injuries and feel great by relieving back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and helping those who have suffered sprains and strains through a sports injury. We’re located in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon areas with clinics throughout west Michigan. Click to see the clinic nearest you.

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Should Physical Therapy Be Used To Prevent Injuries?

Free Health Presentations for Community & Business Groups

Free Health Presentations for Community & Business Groups

Want to start an exercise program but you’re not sure where to begin? Are your employees complaining about a sore back or feet while standing at work all day? Are you worried about those “oops, I just peed a little” moments?

Aches and pains can pop up when we least expect them to and sometimes they happen a little too often. Luckily, a lot of these issues can be fixed and a little education is just the place to start.

Our presentations are available to all social, business, and community groups and the topic is customized specifically for your members. Best of all, these presentations are FREE! 

Free Health Presentations for Community & Business GroupsBalancing fitness and life – a Curves Jenny Craig presentation

We’ll come to you, prepared for an interactive program that’s educational, helpful, tailored to your specific group, and fun. Here’s a list of a few recent presentations we’ve participated in:

  • MOPS – Benefits of a healthy pelvis
  • Local Exercise Class – Precision running
  • Lamont Christian School Science Class – Muscle movement & exercise
  • Local Hair Salon – Posture & body mechanics when you’re on your feet all day
  • Krave Nutrition – Emphasis of exercise
  • Cedar Springs Rotary – Bone health
  • Junior Achievement – Career Path, Physical Therapy
  • GVSU Grand Forum Alumni – Fitness on the go
  • Pure Romance Party – Sexual health
  • Senior Center – Balance and falls
  • Curves | Jenny Craig – Life is a balance

Free Health Presentations for Community & Business GroupsA healthy pelvis, before, during, and after pregnancy – a MOPS presentation

When you hear others talk about incontinence, or that they have the same fear as you when it comes to standing on the scale, you realize that you’re not alone. Oftentimes people don’t talk about health problems because they’re embarrassed or they think things will just fix themselves. And we all have good intentions when it comes to weight loss and nutrition, but how many people really know where to begin? We can show you where to start, give you solutions to your toughest problems, and offer guidance where you thought there was none.

Free Health Presentations for Community & Business GroupsOsteoporosis & Health – a Cedar Springs Rotary presentation

If you’re interested in having our team come to your next meeting or gathering, give us a call at 616.997.6172 or email Julie.

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Helping Parents Live Life to the Fullest

Helping Parents Live Life to the Fullest

By Janis Kemper, Physical Therapist and Co-Owner of NPT

It’s not easy to see your parents get older. We want nothing more than for them to remain independent, feel great, and enjoy life to the fullest. If your parents are anything like mine, they don’t want to “bother” you with their aches and physical limitations. Even though we all know, it’s no bother at all – my sister, 2 brothers, and I would drop everything to help them in a second. They’ve always been there for us and we’ll gladly do the same for them. Finding them the best care possible is always our top priority.

This post might seem a little bias, as it’s focused around my mom and dad, Glenn and Marilyn Smith, but the message is bigger. Many of my friends are going through the same thing that my siblings and I are – we want our parents to be active, healthy, and living a full life for decades to come. Because of my profession, I know there are opportunities out there to meet these needs, but not everyone knows where to turn. Physical therapy, senior based fitness classes, and programs like Silver&Fit are great options for older adults.

My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders. They understand the ways that physical therapy can help them feel better, but it’s not because I’ve told them this, it’s because they’ve experienced it first hand.

Helping Parents Live Life to the Fullest

Marilyn and Glenn were the very first clients at our Lowell clinic

My mom had back surgery in 2011 as a result of pain that was radiating from her hip to her groin, and down her leg to her ankle. Right around that time my dad had a few close calls with some balance issues. They both turned to physical therapy; mom after her surgery, and dad for balance therapy. The treatments had a positive impact on both of them because not only were they no longer living in pain or in fear of falling, but they could live more independently and participate in more family activities. You might say they gained a little of their youth back.

Helping Parents Live Life to the Fullest

Marilyn and Glenn enjoy spending time with their family, including grandson Jack

Since the initial treatments, my parents have become frequent users of physical therapy. They’ve become welcome visitors at three of our locations and while the coffee and good company help, there’s more that keeps them coming back. Mom says she feels better and more relaxed after getting treated. Over time she’s learned how to make changes to the way she moves which have improved her posture, made her back stronger, helped with basic motions like bending over, and has made doing chores around the house easier because there aren’t so many aches associated with them. Dad has a better attitude about health in general because he feels so much better.

Helping Parents Live Life to the Fullest

“I didn’t realize how all these exercises and movement changes could make such a difference. I tell people to consider physical therapy because you never know how great the results can be until you give it a try.” Marilyn Smith

Upon the advice of their PT, my parents participated in a few of our fitness classes. They understand the importance of staying active on a regular basis, and they’ve noticed the change this has made to their overall well being. They like our SeniorFit class, which offers a low impact workout to improve upon cardio, strength, and balance.

While seeing our parents age is never easy, I feel better knowing that they’re in good hands and that their best interests are always a top priority. But my team members don’t just treat them this way because they’re my parents – they treat them this way because they care about each and every client that walks through the door and that gives me great peace of mind.

If you or your loved ones are living with pain, consider physical therapy. It’s a non-invasive treatment that can make a world of difference in the way we move, feel, and live. Ready to get started?

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