Your Physical Therapist Can Help You Keep Your Resolution
As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, many people start setting goals and making resolutions. It’s common for these goals to revolve around improving physical fitness, such as losing weight or getting in better shape. However, it’s important to approach these goals with caution and care.
Increasing your physical activity is beneficial for your overall health, energy levels, sleep quality, and mood. But rushing into a rigorous exercise routine after a holiday season of indulgence can lead to pain, injury, and disappointment if your body isn’t prepared for it. That’s where a qualified physical therapist comes in.
While most people think of PTs as professionals to turn to after an injury occurs, seeing one before making changes to your activity level can actually prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
A thorough evaluation by your PT will assess your strength, range of motion, and functional movement patterns – activities like jumping, running, squatting, and carrying. Some PTs may even use standardized assessments like the Functional Movement Screen.
The majority of injuries resulting from new fitness routines are caused by underlying weaknesses, limited range of motion, or compensatory movements.
Your PT will be able to identify these issues during the evaluation process. From there, they can prescribe exercises or movements that target these specific areas of concern and safely guide you through the transition into the new year. By working with a physical therapist before increasing your activity level, you can reduce the risk of injury and ensure that you’re moving forward with confidence towards your fitness goals.
The other common way people get injured working towards their resolution is with overtraining, or doing too much too soon. Physical therapists are also experts in exercise prescription and program design. Your PT can help you create a routine specific to your needs and goals that will progress appropriately and keep you out of trouble.
So stop only thinking of your PT after you’re injured. In this case, it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Seeing your physical therapist before you start on your resolution can keep you on track, injury free, and help you reach your goals for the new year!