Physical therapists make moving through life easier
Physical therapists are experts in how your body moves. They help improve quality of life by increasing mobility, reducing or managing pain, and restoring function. You may hear physical therapists also called physiotherapists, physios—or most simply, PTs.
“When you visit a PT,” explains says Ellen Forslund, DPT, a physical therapist at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Northgate, “we will carefully examine your current physical ability, ask questions about injuries, work and lifestyle, and then develop a treatment plan to address your goals.”
What conditions warrant a visit to a PT? Physical therapists see it all, from injuries to chronic pain to the side effects of illness and other conditions. While PTs often treat patients with existing injuries or health conditions, they also provide preventive care for patients who want to become healthier and avoid injury or surgery. Some conditions you might not think of for a PT visit include:
- Some headaches are cervicogenic in origin—meaning that muscle tightness around the neck or head could be causing symptoms. A PT can identify activity modifications, stretches and strengthening exercises to help reduce pain.
- Dizziness, vertigo. Dizziness and vertigo can be due to a condition within the vestibular system. PTs can often offer treatments to improve function and reduce vertigo.
- PTs can provide individualized exercise programs, treatments for various symptoms and education during pregnancy and postpartum.
- Balance is crucial to functional mobility. Whether related to skiing or a walk on the beach, balance should be addressed before it becomes a problem. This is a great way to utilize a PT.
- Chronic pain. Chronic pain is usually due to a combination of factors rather than one. PTs can provide pain science education to better understand symptoms and offer treatments to help improve quality of life.
- PTs who specialize in pelvic floor conditions can assess and treat a range of symptoms related to pelvic health, including incontinence.
“I will work with you to understand your goals and lifestyle. Then, together, we will find a path forward to improve your quality of life,” says Ellen.
Telehealth PT appointments
If you prefer to work with a PT at home, a virtual (or telehealth) visit may be an option. Please take these steps to prepare:
- Most insurance companies cover telehealth. However, it is a good idea to call the number on the back of your insurance card to check your coverage.
- Wear comfortable clothes that allow a range of motion. Your PT will need to be able to see how you move.
- Prop your device up on a table so that your provider can assess your range of motion and function over the screen.
- Avoid headphones—or use cordless ones so that you can move around easily.