Many of our clients first meet us after suffering some kind of trauma. Falling down and spraining your ankle- or is it broken? – doesn’t quite meet most people’s standard for a trip to the expensive emergency room. But as it swells up and turns black and you realize the regular doctor’s office won’t be open for four days you look around for something else. Of course we’re here for you. At FirstCare we can evaluate, xray, diagnose and even provide physical therapy for most injuries.
More than ice
What a lot of people, particularly non-athletes, don’t realize is that medicine has a lot more to offer for injuries than put ice on it/ or surgery. For that huge middle ground, there is physical therapy. Physical therapy is not just for acute injuries, either- it is the solution to that nagging pain in your foot, or your weak hand that can’t do much anymore without making your elbow ache.
The whole point of physical therapy is to evaluate your entire body for functional weaknesses and design a program to overcome those weaknesses. Many people are amazed to discover that their sore knees are being caused by weak hip muscles, and that a few weeks of special hip strengthening exercises will cure their pain forever. They probably thought it was “just aging” and they’d have to learn how to live with the pain. Good thing they visited the physical therapist to learn the truth.
A good physical therapy program is multi-faceted. It works on correcting weaknesses and muscle imbalances through focused exercises. Stretching exercises are prescribed to increase range of motion and reduce tension. Simultaneously the program addresses pain relief through massage, acupuncture, cold laser and medications, if needed.
Physical therapists know that pain causes people to move defensively, to guard against pain. Unfortunately many of the defensive mechanisms people unconsciously use to prevent pain cause other problems such as muscle atrophy and decreased range of motion. You start out with a sprained ankle and end up with a sore back, hip and shoulder. The first priority of physical therapists is to relieve pain in order to allow the body to return to a more correct alignment and biomechanical functionality.
Most athletes know that the most important thing to do after suffering an injury is to make an immediate appointment with the physical therapist. Any odd aches or pains? Call the physical therapist. Well, these services are just as important for non-athletes.
We have a full-service physical therapy center in addition to our urgent care services. If you have suffered an acute injury, stop in after your initial appointment to arrange for follow-up care. If you have some chronic aches and pains, don’t suffer any longer- make an appointment today.