One of the unexpected “benefits” of being a physical therapist is that family, friends, and strangers ask your advice on all sorts of health related topics:
“What kind of exercises should I do for my back?”
“Why does my knee hurt right here?”
“Should I use heat or ice?”
“What medication should I take for pain?”
“Does this look normal?”
While I love that people trust my opinion and want my advice, most of the time there is a lot more to answering those questions than just a simple recommendation. Often times, my answer begins with, “Well it depends…” and after a few follow up questions the person who wanted a simple answer is no longer that interested because I have made the situation more complex. But here’s the thing, it should be complex and also comprehensive.
There’s a reason that becoming a PT requires 4 years of undergraduate education, 3 years of a clinical doctorate, and in the case of Austin Manual Therapy Associates, 3 years of advanced training in manual therapy to become a credentialed Fellow of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy. Bodies are extremely complicated; it takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and training to properly evaluate, diagnose, and treat the complexities of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. I’d be doing someone a disservice if I answered their questions with a simple response without taking the time to ask specific questions and gather more information. That’s also why I advise people not to rely on google, instagram, facebook, and other social media for self-treatment approaches; a one-size fits all approach to treating injury and pain is not always the best option.
The benefit of going to a PT with advanced training and experience is that they will take the time to ask the right questions, get a comprehensive history of your injury and pain experience, identify your goals, assess and evaluate the body as a whole system working together, address any soft tissue or joint dysfunctions, and develop a personalized and achievable treatment plan. A good PT can give you advice on how to treat that shoulder pain that you developed while doing yard work last weekend, but a great PT will take a comprehensive look at your movement system as a whole and work with you and educate you to prevent that injury from reoccurring.
So if you’ve been dealing with aches, pain, injuries (new or recurring) or have had similar questions like the one above for a PT or consulted “Dr. Google”, give us a try at Austin Manual Therapy Associates and let us show you the benefit and difference of being treated by highly qualified PT’s. After all, we are the movement experts!
Jacqueline Stine, PT, DPT