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Follow the Routine to Prevent Injury with Physical Therapy

Injury Prevention Begins With Physical Therapy, but Program Adherence is Key

 For the average person, the hassles associated with an orthopedic injury add up quickly: expensive healthcare bills, time out of work, difficulty completing everyday tasks and discomfort associated with the injury itself. The good news is that common orthopedic injuries like ACL tears, ankle sprains and tennis elbow can often be prevented—as long as a properly trained healthcare practitioner is involved.

Whether you’re a college athlete, an occasional runner or a senior looking to be more active, look no further than your physical therapist. In addition to helping patients who already have injuries, physical therapists are trained to spot and treat injuries before they happen on the field or in your home.

Physical therapists are trained to make recommendations and educate patients following a thorough examination and assessment. Physical therapists use a variety of screenings and tools to evaluate a patient’s balance, posture, aerobic capacity, strength, flexibility and movement patterns. Based on the findings, the PT will share a detailed exercise program that’s tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

"At Rehab 2 Perform, we pride ourselves in emphasizing bodyweight competency with our clients. It is the client's who are the most efficient with themselves that typically find themselves spending more time outside of our office, rather than in it. With access to evidence-based standards such as the Y Balance Test or Hop Testing, or empirical standards that we've found at our company, it is our mission to ensure that people are well aware of where they are achieving certain competencies and where they need to focus their efforts."

However, injury prevention doesn’t end with a trip to physical therapy. Once a physical therapist has explained and demonstrated an exercise program to continue at home, the onus is on the patient to follow the recommendations. In fact, according to a study in Sports Medicine titled “Are We Having Fun Yet? Fostering Adherence to Injury Preventive Exercise Recommendations in Young Athletes,” the key to an effective injury prevention strategy is ensuring that the patient understands, adopts and adheres to the recommended program.

The burden of preventable injuries extends beyond the individual and is wreaking havoc on our nation’s healthcare system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hospital emergency departments treat more than 2.6 million children for sports and recreation-related injuries each year. And the National Council on Aging reports that every 11 seconds an older American is treated in the emergency department for a fall.

Many of these trips to the hospital—and to other medical providers—can be avoided all together by visiting a physical therapist at the first sign of pain or weakness, before beginning a new exercise program or participating in a new physical activity.

About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.