Maybe you’ve been injured on the job and are going to need help getting back to your old self…or maybe you were playing basketball and found out your knees couldn’t quite keep up with the rest of you because you’re an older self than you want to admit! Where can you find help and relief? Orthopedic physical therapy may be the answer.
What Orthopedic Physical Therapy?
Orthopedic physical therapy is a branch of medical service focused on the restoration and preservation of the entire musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, tendons, joints, nerves, and ligaments). Orthopedic physical therapists (commonly called “physical therapists” or “PTs”) are licensed professionals who have completed a minimum of a three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
PTs utilize many different types of treatment regimens and techniques developed to aid patients with a large variety of musculoskeletal issues. We often associate PTs with regaining functionality, strength, and balance after an injury. However, they also specialize in pain management and quality of life care, particularly concerning age-related health challenges.
How To Find A Licensed Orthopedic Specialist
Finding a PT can be as simple as looking in the yellow pages, but finding a qualified professional suited to your needs may be more complex. Many times, patients are referred to a specific physical therapist or practice by their doctor. Though this is generally a reliable way of finding good care, it is important to know that patients are not required to fill a prescription for therapy at a practice specifically designated by the ordering physician.
Outside of a direct physician’s referral, you may research PTs in your area online, call your local hospital, or even ask a friend who has had a positive PT experience for a recommendation.
Once you have some specific practices or PTs to consider, the first step to finding a good fit is to evaluate what specialization you will need (if any) and call the practice you are considering to verify they have a certified individual on staff to meet your requirements (board-certified practitioners will be designated “PT” or “DPT”).
If a practice has the expertise you need, ask if they are a part of your insurance network – occasionally, PTs will not take any insurance but work with you directly on payment.
The Benefits Of Orthopedic Treatment
Orthopedic treatment can help your body and improve your quality of life in many different areas. Increased mobility and functionality helps to protect us from unwanted weight gain, keeps us physically independent, and enable us to be active and to do the things we love. Orthopedic intervention can also protect an injured area from greater damage.
In some cases, treatment can help an individual to avoid invasive medical procedures such as surgery, or avoid having to be chained to the use of long-term prescription medications.
Orthopedic physical therapy can help athletes reach higher goals and senior citizens be more confident and comfortable. Painless movement makes everything in life a little bit easier and often a lot better, from work to basketball!