Treatment

How to Get the Most from a Physical Therapy Tune-Up

Christina Lasich, MD Apr 6, 2012 (updated May 6, 2014)
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Muscles can lose strength and coordination with age
Muscles can lose strength and coordination with age
Overtime, muscles can lose strength and coordination. A tune-up can help remedy that situation. Overtime, body mechanics and postures can get sloppy. A physical therapist can overhaul that situation as well. With periodic checks on the neuromuscular system, pain can be relieved and prevented.
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Find the best physical therapist
Find the best physical therapist
Not all physical therapist are created equally. Some are great, highly skilled clinicians. Some are worthless, generic robots. In order to find a proven therapist, I look for ones who are registered fellows of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. Because of the rigorous written and hands-on testing, this organization contains the best in the business
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Start with specific instructions
Start with specific instructions
Start with some specific orders from a doctor who understands rehabilitation principles like a physiatrist. A family doctor is just going to write a generic, non-specific prescription that says something like this: "Knee pain: 6 weeks of physical therapy." With more thought and teamwork from the ordering physician, physical therapy is more likely to be helpful.
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Maintain an exercise program
Maintain an exercise program
Right after getting the car tuned up, everything is running better. But, unless you maintain good tire pressure, change the oil regularly, and use good gas; the sputtering, knocking and pinging will return quickly. The same goes for the human body. Maintaining even just a two minute workout is much better than nothing.
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Follow the rules
Follow the rules
If you are sputtering along with increasing levels of pain, check under the hood. And schedule your physical therapy tune-up today. If you follow the rules of finding the best physical therapist, getting problem-specific orders from a rehabilitation specialist, and maintaining an exercise routine, you are more likely to have a successful physical therapy tune-up.