Memorial Regional Health: Physical therapy can help patients regain function, relieve pain — October is Physical Therapy Month
Editor’s note: The following is sponsored content from Memorial Regional Health
Anyone experiencing physical pain or loss of function can benefit from physical therapy, but too many would-be patients often don’t know about the resources that can help them.
Millions of Americans use opioids to manage pain, but rather than masking the pain and relying on prescription drugs, physical therapists help patients regain strength, function, and self-confidence.
“The key to physical therapy is early intervention,” said Ericka Lucas, physical therapy manager at Memorial Regional Health. “If your movement dysfunction is addressed early, we can avoid surgery a lot of the time.”
October is Physical Therapy Month, which helps spread the word about the importance of this kind of health care. Common reasons for physical therapy include surgery prevention, post-operative rehabilitation, pain, edema, loss of function or balance, headaches, TMJ, and more.
“Physical therapists can help with more than you think we can; we cover a very diverse patient population,” Lucas said. “If you are suffering from something or can’t do things quite the way you used to, come in and see us. We really aren’t that bad!”
Alternative to prescription drugs
The American Physical Therapy Association’s #ChoosePT campaign is trying to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription opioids by encouraging consumers and prescribers to choose safer alternatives, such as physical therapy, for most chronic pain management. The CDC is also urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives, such as physical therapy.
“Physical therapists (PTs) treat pain through movement, hands-on care, and patient education — and by increasing physical activity you can also reduce your risk of other chronic diseases,” according to the American Physical Therapy Association. “A recent study published in Health Services Research found patients who saw a PT before trying other treatments for low back pain were 89 percent less likely to need an opioid prescription.”
PT at MRH
Physical therapy at Memorial Regional Health offers patients a variety of options. Lucas said there are several therapists who are certified or specialized in various areas.
“We have a certified lymphedema therapist, a board-certified orthopedic specialist, therapists who are certified in dry needling and vestibular rehab specialists, and pediatric specialists,” she said. “We have the expertise to treat anyone who walks through our doors.”
These therapists are passionate about helping patients reach their functional goals. Lucas said that includes helping athletes return to sports, helping residents return to work, and allowing people to walk their dogs again or being able to reach up into the top cupboard again.
“Being a physical therapist is truly a rewarding job,” she said. “If patients are open-minded and are committed to putting in the work, we truly see outstanding results.”
So much for the models that predicted a cool, wet summer for us here in western Colorado — at least I think it’s hot this July. Ranchers are probably relieved that it’s been a good haying season, and after the cool spring, it’s nice to have a “normal” summer, but it is indeed hot.