Many factors go into how likely that might be, but even minor aches and pains can sneak up on the best of us. Thankfully, pain often comes and goes, but if it doesn’t, a physical therapist is there to help.
Considering how complicated and confusing our medical system is in the U.S., there’s no doubt that sometimes it’s easier to just endure a little pain or discomfort than book an appointment to figure out what is really going on. And depending on your insurance status, your financial means, and your location, it may not be feasible for you to drop in for an appointment at the first sign of discomfort.
The most common reason people see a physical therapist for care is to address pain or a potential injury that’s inhibiting their ability to move and exercise normally. A physical therapist will help you set goals to overcome your injury/discomfort and come up with a plan to achieve them. They will use different exercises, activities, hands-on therapies (such as massage), and other tools to help you get there.
When to see a primary care provider first
If you are in extreme pain, have an acute injury, or cannot function properly (you can’t walk or lift your arm or otherwise so inhibited you can’t move throughout daily life), definitely see an M.D.
They can refer you to a specialist, request imaging, or determine if you need surgical or nonsurgical medical interventions. For example, when a ligament or muscle is torn, an MRI may be critical in determining the plan of care. You should be assessed by the appropriate doctor who can then refer you for imaging and go over the results and their implications with you. After that, they will likely suggest physical therapy, or you can ask if it would be appropriate as part of your treatment.
Physical therapy can help reduce many types of aches and pains and fix your imbalances, and it can also help you better understand your body and prevent future pain and injuries, helping you to stay active and enjoy the activities you love.
For immediate concerns or in need of immediate care from Physical Therapists, feel free to contact us right away.