“The bad news is that there are still some people who continue to think of physical therapy clinic as the health care equivalent of a mechanic’s garage: you don’t stop in unless something’s not working, and when you do come in, you try to get out as quickly as possible and hope you’ll never have to come back.”
Physical therapists have the education, experience, and expertise necessary to provide broad screenings that track a patient’s neuromyofascial and musculoskeletal health status over time. Seeing a physical therapist (PT) at least annually to promote optimal health, wellness, and fitness, as well as to slow the progression of impairments is important.
Annual physical therapy evaluations can identify the causes of small aches or pains, asymmetries or areas of reduced function that could develop into injuries or other more serious medical problems. A physical therapy exam may also potentially detect other underlying medical problems that present with atypical signs or symptoms.
Direct access laws allow patients to be treated and evaluated by physical therapists without a referral from a doctor or healthcare practitioner.
During an annual wellness exam, your physical therapist will work with you to assess your strength, balance, posture, flexibility, functional movement and lifestyle in order to identify even the smallest asymmetries, abnormalities or dysfunctions that may affect your body’s ability to move well. The therapist will then recommend interventions and/or prescriptive exercises that could help reduce your risk for injury, chronic pain or other problems and help you take the proper steps to maintain the function you need to live, work and play well.