A Physical Therapist is someone who can assist you in regaining flexibility, joint range of motion, strength, endurance and balance after an injury, accident, illness or surgery. They can also help you minimize the risk of injury by designing an exercise program for you, and they can help you manage a chronic health condition like diabetes, arthritis or fibromyalgia.
All physical therapists are currently required to receive a graduate degree–either a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate—from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure examination that allows them to practice. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices. Most physical therapists have a four-year undergraduate degree and a three-year Master’s or Doctorate level degree.
How do you know when an injury is serious, or superficial? Here is a list of 6 reasons about why you should go see a physical therapist.
1- The Pain Lingers After 4 or 5 Days of Rest & Ice
If you've followed the typical RICE formula (rest, ice, compression, elevation) for 4 or 5 days, and the pain is still present, that's a good indicator that you need to see a Physical Therapist. Although ibuprofin can be helpful with swelling, inflammation, and pain relief, you need to be able to truly feel how bad the pain is. After the first 2-3 days, I recommend going without a pain reliever just to get a good reading on how severe the pain really is. A good scale to use is from 1-10 (1-hardly noticeable, 10-emergency room).
2- Re-occurring Dull Pain
This kind of pain is linked into the above point, but it also gets its own heading. Dull pain can mean that something has somewhat healed, but there's still a kind of tear, pull, strain, or sprain that has happened, and needs to be addressed quickly.
3 - After a Specific Traumatic Event
If you had a specific event that traumatized a part of your body, it's a good reason to go get things checked out. If you slip and fall while getting out of a pool, roll your ankle while hiking, or take a hard spill while snowboarding, go see a Physical Therapist!
4 - Medicine No Longer Helps
This is huge: if you're constantly having to take pain meds and they're just not working, it's time you need to go in. Your body has gone though a lot already, and it's important to allow it to function without so much external pain management.
5 - Acute & Sharp Pain
Dull and achy pain can most likely be helped with rest and ice. Acute and sharp pains usually mean something severe is happening (i.e. muscle tear, bone fracture, ligament pull, etc).
6 - Noticeable or Visible Changes
If you notice at the end of the day that your knee or ankle is more swollen than normal, that's a big indicator that things are off. Stay in tuned to your body, how it reacts, and how it looks at the end of a work day.
For more information, go to glowfitnessbellingham.com or call us at 360-788-5400.