My Neck, My Back, My Sciatic Attack: 8 Signs it’s Time to Book a PT Appointment

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Did you know that over 20% of the U.S. population deals with chronic pain? If you’re one of them, then there’s a chance that physical therapy could help. 

This is just one of the many reasons to consider booking a session with a physical therapist. A PT appointment can help relieve pain, improve your range of motion, and teach you how to build muscle strength.

Wondering what types of circumstances warrant booking a PT appointment? Here are a few examples of when to see a physical therapist.

1. You Need a PT Appointment if You’re Dependent on OTC Pain Relievers

If you take over the counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, daily and keep telling yourself that the pain will eventually go away, this is a clear sign that you need to get to a physical therapy clinic.

These drugs aren’t doing anything to improve your condition, instead, they’re just masking the pain. Even worse, NSAIDs like ibuprofen can cause serious conditions like stomach bleeding, increase your risk for having a heart attack or stroke, and can cause allergic reactions. 

Seeing a physical therapist can actually help your body heal and get rid of the pain once and for all.

2. You Can No Longer Do the Things You Love

Another reason to seek help from a physical therapist is if your pain has started to get in the way of doing things you used to love to do. If you’re stiff, sore, or just don’t feel as spry as you used to, it’s important to know that you don’t just have to live with this new reality.

In this case, you may wonder “Is physical therapy necessary?” The answer is a resounding yes!

After you start your PT appointments, you’ll eventually be able to get back to enjoying your life, comfortably doing things like playing with your dog, pushing your grandkids on a swing, or even just sleeping comfortably.

3. You’re an Athlete “Training Through the Pain”

If you’re a runner, weightlifter, or some other type of athlete, don’t make the mistake of adhering to the old cliché “No pain, no gain.” In reality, you shouldn’t ever have to push through serious pain.

Pain is a warning sign that damage is happening to your body. Ignoring this will only lead to a more serious injury or long-term damage. Go see a physical therapist so you can finally figure out what’s going on and enjoy your sport without suffering.

4. You’ve Just Had Surgery

Any time you have orthopedic surgery, like a rotator cuff repair, knee or shoulder replacement, or back surgery, your doctor will recommend seeing a physical therapist. Do not ignore this advice!

While it may be tempting to blow off PT, doing so will seriously hinder your recovery. In some cases, if you don’t get therapy, you may never get full function back again.

Your therapist will also be able to tell you when it’s safe to get back to exercising or resuming other activities. This will help give you some additional peace of mind while you recover.

5. You’re Having Trouble with Your Balance  

Physical therapists do more than just help with pain caused by joint, tendon, and muscle issues. They can also treat patients who have problems with their balance or with gait (difficulty walking).

This is often an issue for older adults, which makes them a good candidate for looking into how physical therapy can help them. If you’ve had more than one fall in the last six months, you need to see a professional who can help you overcome your difficulties.

6. You’re Taking Time off From Work

Whether you have a very active job or you spend your days sitting behind a desk, it’s very common to suffer from physical pain that makes it difficult to perform your job. If you find that you’ve had to take a week or more off from work as a result of being in pain, then it’s time to do something about it.

Physical therapists can help you get relief from your pain, but they can also provide an ergonomic assessment. This way, they can tell you how you can modify your workspace to improve your posture and reduce long-term discomfort.

7. You’re Noticed Changes in Your Body

If you’ve noticed a significant change in your body’s appearance or performance, physical therapy may help with this as well. For example, you may suddenly have a swollen knee or ankle, or you might notice that you can no longer throw a football as far as you once could.

There’s an array of different issues that could cause these types of problems. A good physical therapist will help you get to the root of the issue and give you tips for things you can do to get back to your former self.

8. You’ve Had an Injury That Isn’t Getting Better

You don’t need to run off to a physical therapist every time you hurt yourself. However, if you’re still experiencing pain several days after an injury occurs, it may be a good idea to have it looked at by a professional.

Take Control of Your Health Today

Now that you’ve seen a few of the conditions that can benefit from a PT appointment, you have the information you need to start taking control of your health.

Need more health tips? Keep browsing through the rest of our blog posts!