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Physical Therapy:

Not Just When You’re Broken

Physical Therapy has a long and rich history of treating injuries and being an integral part of medical teams focused on recovery from injury. As a result, many assume that physical therapists are who to see with a broken leg, not when personal record marathon times or next-level deadlifts are the goal, right? Wrong! Serious professional athletes will report that their PT is just another part of their  “human performance” team, that typically includes strength coaches, speed specialists, athletic trainers and physicians. Often times, Physical Therapists can be the go-to person for performance enhancement.

Most people are fairly disciplined taking care of their cars, including getting regular maintenance done to keep the old workhorse running smoothly. So why don’t we do the same for our bodies? Physical Therapists are experts in movement, and we can identify subtle changes often missed by patients, because there is no pain…. yet.  And the key word is yet! Injury prevention research shows that the number one predictor of future injury is past injury – and following not far behind as a leading cause of injury are what’s known as “asymmetries”. Asymmetries are any side-to-side difference in how you move. So being super-flexible in a left shoulder and tight as a rubber band on the right, is a sure recipe for future injury.

The body likes to be balanced in order to move well, move powerfully, and with control. When pain occurs, whether it be from injury or workout soreness, the body moves around the pain not through it. This changed movement pattern can become habit, if not identified and corrected. These faulty movement patterns wear down joints over time, and contribute to serious issues such as torn labrums, strained ligaments, and ripped muscles.

At Release Physical Therapy we take a “joint-by-joint” approach to treatment. We understand that a knee problem could easily be caused by dysfunction in the hip or ankle. Examining the entire body and how it moves is what will show us where any mobility and stability issues are. Small changes in movement patterns, if found and fixed early, can prevent future back pain, shoulder issues and possibly surgery.

With the New Year fast approaching and resolutions being made, don’t forget to add some body maintenance to your schedule. As always we offer free 15 minute consults, so come in and see if there aren’t a few tweaks we can make to insure 2015 is a healthy, injury free year…. and one that includes attaining new heights towards your human performance goals!

Stay healthy my friends!

Virginia

Virginia Dula, DPT, OCS

Release Physical Therapy

Washington DC