Physical Therapy & Running Tips
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Get PT First
It's no secret that healthcare costs are on the rise. Deductibles are higher and many insurance companies are not covering certain procedures. It may take weeks to get a test approved by your insurance and then often times, these tests can yield little information about a current source of pain you may be having in your muscle or joint. A local hospital system is even charging a "Facility Fee" each time you have a test completed, visit their office or partake in any of their ancillary services.
What if we shift our focus to prevention instead of treatment? A healthy diet and exercise are excellent places to start. But sometimes we have little aches and pains that we ignore. They later turn into a larger problem when they go unchecked. Most physical therapy clinics offer complimentary injury screens (to those patients that do not have a federally funded insurance plan). So....TRY GETTING PT FIRST.
Physical therapists are movement experts. Often, they are able to perform a quick musculoskeletal exam and correctly determine the source of your pain. Remember, the goal is to treat the dysfunctional source that is causing the pain, not just treat the pain. Strengthening exercises can help retrain weak muscle groups, flexibility exercises can help joint move better, and stability drills can help improve balance and coordination. All of that put together can lead to decreased pain and improved movement which can help you avoid surgeries and get you back to what is important to you.
Can you save money long term by preventing injuries? ABSOLUTELY. The idea of saving on health care costs does not have to be limited to individuals. Companies can benefit from injury prevention training too. Employers can save thousands in worker's compensation injuries with education on better movement patterns to their employees. Education on proper lifting mechanics, ergonomic desk-set up, and strengthening programs can help employees stay injury free while at work. Physical therapists will gladly assist local employers with planning injury prevention programs. According to OSHA.org, the top benefits of a workplace safety and fitness program are increased productivity, reduced costs, better employee morale, greater job satisfaction, and greater retention of employees.
You can make better decisions about your health and wellness when you understand how to prevent injuries and manage your symptoms before they worsen. Do not lose your freedom from living your life because you waited too long to address some very basic movement issues. Do not let pain control you. Do not let your insurance company dictate your care. You can be in control when you understand how to move properly. Consider talking to a PT FIRST.