You went to the doctor to get that bum knee looked at in hopes of getting surgery that would fix the problem once and for all. You are determined to not let that nagging sports injury slow you down for the rest of your life. A couple days of paid leave to recover and back to work you go. It’s a good plan except for one thing: that bone-headed doctor did not prescribe the surgery at all. Instead, he uttered two of the most dreaded words in pain management — physical therapy.
If a person has ever tried it in the past and didn’t find success with it, they are highly likely to be resistant to it the next time it is prescribed. These days, it is prescribed a lot. It is the goto recommendation for everything from elbow pain to neck pain. There is seldom a surgery that wasn’t preceded by at least one round of physical therapy. It is almost a certainty that you will be required to go through physical therapy
if you see a doctor for chronic pain. One would be forgiven for believing it to be over-prescribed. But that intuition would be incorrect. There are a lot of reasons that doctors prescribe physical therapy so often. Here are the reasons you should do physical therapy the next time it is prescribed for you:
More Convenient Than Ever
Whether you are getting physical therapy in Jersey City, NJ or treatment on the West Coast in Los Angeles, CA, you will find a convenient location because certified physical therapists can be found everywhere. They don’t just work out of the big hospitals. You can find physical therapy wherever there are medical offices. You will even find them conveniently located in small strip malls. They are everywhere. So there is no excuse to skip the appointment because it is too far out of the way.
There was a time when a good physical therapist was hard to find. You really did have to live near a large hospital to get to one. There is also the matter of hours. If you work during the day and the only office only keeps weekday business hours, that won’t work for a lot of people. But having so many choices means it is a lot easier to find clinics with evening and weekend hours. That makes it a lot easier to keep your appointments.
Good Health Is Attractive
When you are dealing with a chronic pain issue, it might not be the best time to pop the question. You don’t want to enter a relationship with a lot of health baggage. It is not fair to saddle your future partner with your old health issues if it can be avoided. Physical therapy is one way to get those nagging issues dealt with once and for all.
You will be much more likely to get the answer you want if you have your health. It is a matter of timing. You want to make it easy for your partner to say yes. And you want to be able to hit the ground running. Enter the next phase of your relationship by presenting your best self. Physical therapy can help you get ready for the adventure to come.
Sometimes, Surgery Requires It
Your doctor will usually require a round of muscle-strengthening exercises before knee surgery. She is not singling you out. If your muscles are too weak to support a proper recovery, the doctor will refuse to do the surgery. Physical therapy is not always a recommendation to avoid surgery. It is just as often a precursor to the surgery the doctor wants to do. If you can regain your quality of life without the surgery, so much the better.
If you have a busy work schedule and some of the exercises are too painful for you to perform, the physical therapist will work with you to devise a program that is tailored for you. They are working closely with your surgeon. By following through and cooperating with your therapist, you make it easier for your doctor to take things to the next level.
The right physical therapy is convenient, covered by insurance, helps you get ready for new ventures, and clears the way for more intense procedures. Ultimately, physical therapy is the shortest distance and the straightest line between your current self and your best self.