Can Performance Physical Therapy Help You?
Most of us know that physical therapy can be an important part of recovery from an injury, but it is often assumed that only professional athletes use performance physical therapy as a way to enhance their abilities. But are athletes the only patients who benefit from this rising field of physical therapy? Targeted performance physical therapy can prevent injury, speed up recovery, and improve the skills you use in your daily life.
Performance Physical Therapy is preventative wellness care intended to help you perform tasks properly. Performance PT has become more and more popular as a physical therapy for runners to improve their running technique and help them adopt better stride efficiency. Runners travel extended distances using repetitive high-impact motion as they move. With proper training, running can improve your health and fitness, but poor posture or gait can increase your chances of falling or cause repetitive stress injuries. Physical therapy BEFORE the onset of pain or injury allows runners to run better for a longer period of time without injury.
Running is a perfect example of the kind of athletic activity performance therapy that can enhance and improve, but the benefits of performance physical therapy are not limited to sports performance. Simple day-to-day motions can be enhanced by physical therapy as well. If you spend all your time at a desk typing and using a mouse, you could learn how to improve your posture while sitting or prevent fatigue in your hands. Performance physical therapy can teach you how to stand correctly at a retail counter, how to lift things properly in the warehouse, or how to crochet without feeling shoulder and back pain.
Another way to look at performance physical therapy is as a way to prevent mistakes that can result in injury. You may have heard of “fall prevention therapy”, a type of physical therapy that focuses on optimizing balance, strength, and flexibility to avoid falls. Falling down is one of the most common sources of injury, particularly in the elderly, and can cause devastating disability. Preventing falls in the first place can save pain, recovery time, and money.
Performance physical therapy can be more than just a way to avoid injury. The targeted training can also help you recover more quickly in the case of an unavoidable accident. By building baseline strength, flexibility, and range of motion, your body is better prepared to heal after an injury. Improved circulation from regular strength training and flexibility also gives the body a head start on healing.
There is some discussion about the effectiveness of post-injury physical therapy that suggests that performance physical therapy does more to help athletes recover from injury than physical therapy intervention afterward. Less overall damage occurs thanks to improved strength and flexibility, and the healing process is much more rapid and less challenging. In essence, performance physical therapy not only prevents injury under normal circumstances but also better prepares the body for unavoidable accidents and ensures a more rapid recovery.
No matter what you do, from grocery shopping or chasing a toddler to unloading a truck or typing at a desk, you use your body to perform your daily tasks. Preparing your body for daily function and using your muscles and bones properly can help you get more accomplished, improve your energy, and prevent long-term wear and tear and possible injury. Just like an athlete, you can train to do what you love better! Which means you can do more of what you love.
If you are interested in learning how performance physical therapy can benefit you, give our licensed therapists a call today at 434-817-0980! Move Better’s Sports Physical Therapy offers a range of options for athletes interested in maximizing performance and preventing injury.