Why Physical Therapy Should Be On Your Annual Check-Up List

Dental cleaning ✔, Eye exam ✔, General practitioner visit ✔… How about your muscles and bones? Are you moving as freely as you have in the past? Do you feel strong? Have you fallen in the past year?

Routine check-ups and testing are important preventative measures to ensure you stay healthy. Examinations for the health of your teeth, skin, eyes, and ears are commonly accepted practices for many individuals. But what about preventative maintenance for your musculoskeletal system?

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “An annual visit allows physical therapists to determine health status and identify health risks of individuals in their community. Physical therapists have the education, experience, and expertise necessary to provide a broad health screening to allow tracking the patient’s health status over time.” 

Cindy Rankin, physical therapist and Regional Director of Professional Therapy Services, notes a physical therapy evaluation focuses on one’s ability to move freely and independently while living a safe and active life. “The primary focus of a physical therapist is the musculoskeletal system – the bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues that make it possible for you not just to move, but experience life on your own terms. As a physical therapist, my job is to ensure this system is working optimally so limitations like strength, balance, flexibility, pain, and so on don’t stand in the way of a person’s quality of life.” 

Physical therapists use the results of a “check-up” to offer clients individualized treatment plans to address issues within the musculoskeletal system that may cause long-term health problems. Pain, injury, and disease may be avoided through intervention to help you enjoy a higher quality of life while staying active and independent. Additionally, physical therapists can treat minor aches and pains before they become more significant and keep you from doing the things you love.

“Movement is medicine, and being able to stay physically active plays a huge role in disease prevention, managing chronic conditions and, in general, taking greater control of your health,” Rankin said. “We as physical therapists help people avoid pain, injury and other issues that could lead them toward becoming more sedentary and at greater risk of these types of issues.” 

At PTS, we recommend that, just as with a primary care physician, people should see a physical therapist for a check-up at least once each year.

Physical therapy check-ups should also be considered if you: 

  • Experience pain, discomfort, or strain when doing an activity 
  • Are considering a new fitness program or are starting a new sport
  • Have had surgery and are trying to resume normal activities 
  • Are managing chronic disease  
  • Feel off balance or standing/walking is being more difficult
  • Have had surgery and are trying to resume normal activities 
  • Are managing chronic disease  
  • Feel off balance or standing/walking is being more difficult

For more information about annual physical therapy check-ups, contact our team with questions or to schedule your annual check-up: Call 309-231-0676 or send us a message here.

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