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

Christina Lasich, MD | April 6, 2012

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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

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 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

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

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.