How are you feeling today? This is a question that we don’t take lightly at Rockville Concierge Doctors. As a primary care provider, making sure that you have the tools you need to maintain your highest level of wellness is our ultimate goal. Good health is the result of an optimal balance of the physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental factors that you are exposed to on a regular basis.
The purpose of concierge primary care is to create a personal and trusting relationship between providers and patients, offering the perfect opportunity for you to develop the tools you need to maintain or improve your health. This includes disease prevention activities such as routine screening and vaccinations. However, it also includes health promotion coaching such as making sure you are eating a good diet, avoiding smoking, and getting enough exercise. In fact, exercise is a powerful tool in promoting health.
Whether your mobility and ability to perform your normal activities of daily living is altered due to age, injury, pain, and/or inactivity, supervised physical therapy is an ideal and recommended intervention to improve function and quality of life. As such, concierge primary care and physical therapy can help you find the perfect balance to restore function and to live a healthy and productive life.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a form of therapy that is performed by highly skilled and educated, licensed healthcare professionals that work directly with patients who are experiencing pain or debility from an illness, injury, or lack of physical activity. Physical therapy includes a number of modalities that help patients regain as much function as possible, minimize pain, improve strength and range of motion, and prevent future injuries or disability. It may include exercise, manual therapy and manipulation, mechanical traction, education, heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and teaching patients to work with assistive devices such as walkers or canes and artificial limbs. The goal of therapy is not only to improve function and decrease pain, but also to teach patients how to continue exercising after their treatment is complete, to stay healthy, and to prevent future injury.
When Can Physical Therapy Help?
Your primary care physician is an excellent place to start when you have complaints of pain or injury. In fact, your physician may identify a lack of mobility or strength during an exam, highlighting a potential risk of injury that you may not be aware of. Examples of patients who will benefit from physical therapy are those who have experienced fractures or orthopedic surgery, strokes, sports injuries, accidents, neurological injuries or illnesses, pain from arthritis, and back injuries. Patients who have experienced a long-term illness and may have grown weak also benefit from physical therapy to improve strength, balance, and endurance, as do those who may have lost mobility merely from lack of opportunity for physical activity. As we age, the difference between living independently and needing assistance can be the ability to lift your own body weight from a sitting position to standing. If physical therapy can help you achieve this, then it is worth the time and effort involved.
What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a proven way to decrease disability and pain, improve range of motion, strength, and endurance, and to improve overall health. The benefits of being able to live a more active lifestyle are found in not only the ability to care for oneself, but also the positive effects regular exercise has both on physical and psychological health.
There are obvious benefits of physical therapy in a number of situations. If you have had a fracture, injury, or surgery that has caused limited mobility and strength, physical therapy can help you improve range of motion and strength of the affected part of your body. These improved abilities will not only restore your loss of function, but also will help prevent future injury.
In the event of a stroke, an appropriate physical therapy program will not only help you regain as much strength and mobility as possible, but will also help you adjust your activities to cope with any long-term residual deficiencies. If you need an assistive device, such as a walker or a cane, a physical therapist can teach you how to use these safely and efficiently.
Pain is one of the most common complaints that people see their primary care physician for—especially low back and joint pain. Physical therapy leverages a number of modalities, including TENS, ultrasound, heat or cold therapy, stretching, and exercise to not only improve pain, but to prevent future injury.
Good balance is also essential to maintain health and function. Lack of balance can result in falls, injuries, and fractures. A physical therapist can help you improve strength and utilize techniques to improve your balance. If you experience shortness of breath due to cardiac problems, physical therapy programs are available to help you improve your stamina.
The fact is, adequate strength, balance, endurance, range of motion, and the ability to participate in a routine exercise program are all strategically important aspects of maintaining your best health. Your primary care physician is your greatest ally in developing the skills and tools necessary to maintain an active lifestyle. This is particularly true in the environment of concierge medicine, where your doctor is committed to individualizing a plan that is best for your unique needs, and seeing you throughout your path to wellness.
If you have any questions regarding physical therapy and how it might help you, or if you have any questions about the benefits of concierge medicine, please call Rockville Concierge Doctors at (301) 545-1811 to request a free, no-obligation meet-and-greet, or request a meet-and-greet online. And be sure to check out the two superb physical therapists, Suzanne McIntyre and Christine Grossnickel, who share space in our office.