Moving Forward During National Physical Therapy Month


By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Did you know that expensive and invasive surgery can sometimes be avoided by undergoing physical therapy? Or that physical therapy can reduce the risk of injury during everyday activities and sports?  October is National Physical Therapy Month and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wants you to know more about the benefits of PT including eliminating pain and improving mobility and motion.

National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is commemorated each October by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). According to the APTA’s website, NPTM was “designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives.”

Perhaps the No. 1 reason to consider physical therapy is to improve mobility and motion. Maybe you’ve noticed that after reaching your 40’s, you have increased shoulder pain after throwing the football around with your son or maybe it wasn’t as easy to bounce back after playing a round of golf. Physical therapy can increase mobility and prevent some of the aches and pains you might experience after exercise.

Because physical therapists receive specialized education in a number of sciences such as physics, human anatomy, and kinesiology (the study of human movement) and can manage all four of the body’s major systems, they can help get patients moving again, free of pain.

Physical therapy can also help improve balance and prevent falls. According to the National Aging Council, about one in three seniors above age 65, and nearly one in two seniors over age 80, will fall at least once this year. Those falls, many with disastrous consequences, can be prevented through PT. A physical therapist can design an individualized exercise program and activities that emphasize strength, flexibility and proper gait. According to the APTA, exercises that strengthen the ankle, knee, and hip muscles may improve balance.

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. and a physical therapist can help a stroke victim regain function and motor activity. The APTA says the majority of stroke survivors will receive physical therapy as part of the rehabilitation process and that your “physical therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan which may include prescribing exercise and other activities to improve movement, help facilitate independence, and regain your quality of life after stroke.”

Physical therapy can eliminate pain without medication. People at risk of heart disease must often avoid taking prescription pain medication, so the American Heart Association recommends seeing a physical therapist for the initial treatment of pain resulting from tendinitis/bursitis, degenerative joint problems, and inflammatory joint problems.

Up to 80 percent of Americans experience lower back pain during their lifetime but according to the medical journal Spine,  “physical therapy that mobilizes the spine along with specific exercises can help alleviate the pain and have long-lasting effects.”

Medications and surgery can sometimes be avoided by undergoing physical therapy. PT is also a great way to regain mobility in a sore knee or shoulder and to get the body moving again. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance reminds you October is National Physical Therapy Month and it’s a great time to think of moving forward. More information on physical therapy can be found on the APTA’s Move Forward website.

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