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When to see a Physical Therapist

Whether we have just started an exercise regime, or have been exercising regularly so much so that we consider ourselves seasoned, pain and discomfort associated with our active lifestyles are common. These include muscle soreness, aches and minor pains, which are integral to our strength and endurance training.

Pain is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. At which stage, then, should we seek treatment from a Physical Therapist (PT)? Dr Charlie Johnson categorises pain into red, yellow and green groups according to their intensity and during the type of activity they arise.

He suggests seeing a PT when the pain starts to inhibit performance or function, normally around the yellow category. His reason was that newer, acute conditions are often easier to treat than chronic long-standing problems, which also improves the chances of a full recovery.

He also gives tips on how you can select a suitable PT for yourself. Some good questions to ask when you are choosing a therapist include,

  • Does your PT have a doctorate and/or did they do a residency in physical therapy?
  • Will they be the ones treating you or will you be seen by an assistant, aide, or athletic trainer?
  • Will they spend time to develop a working relationship with you, including taking a full account of your physical history? Dr. Johnson notes a thorough evaluation should last 60 to 90 minutes and should include movement, strength, and range-of-motion assessment.

Clear communication with your therapist will allow them to choose the best course of treatment for your condition. The bottom line is that you should not wait until the pain or discomfort has become a constant companion in your active lifestyle – instead, you should seek the help of a therapist to get you back to your full potential, or even more.

Read more here. “Nagging Pain or Discomfort? Maybe It’s Time For Physical Therapy

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