Some may think that physical therapy is only necessary after a surgery or injury. This isn’t true at all. Here are five other reasons you may need physical therapy.

To Avoid a Surgery

More studies are proving that physical therapy may provide a non-invasive method of treatment for patients who want to avoid surgery. Studies have shown that physical therapy can be as effective as surgery for treating meniscal tears and osteoarthritis in the knee, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even degenerative disk disease. Of course, under certain conditions, a patient still may require surgery, but consider consulting with a physical therapist first.

To Improve Mobility and Movement

Physical therapists are experts in improving motion. As we age, our range of motion can decrease, which can affect our ability to do our favorite leisure activities or function throughout our daily lives.

If you wake up in the morning with aches and pains and are concerned about slowing down your body’s aging process, talk with a physical therapist. 

To Improve Balance

Older people with limited functional mobility can improve their balance from undergoing training through a physical therapist. But, it’s not only older people who may need help. 

Athletes who have undergone injuries, people who have had surgery, and people with vertigo can benefit from learning exercises and movements to improve their balance and mobility. Improving balance is a complicated process. It involves many different systems in your body. This includes your vision, your vestibular system, and your proprioceptive system. 

Improving your balance is further complicated when some of the movements designed to encourage balance may cause a person to fall. Work closely with your physical therapist to ensure that you do the right exercises to improve your mobility while staying safe.

To Reduce Pain

Many people suffering from pain think that increasing movement is out of the question. However, physical therapy has been known to reduce all kinds of chronic pain, such as chronic headaches, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathic pain. As the medical industry has been reining in opioid use, patients are seeking other means of pain management. Consider turning to physical therapy to see if this is a viable option to help you with your daily discomforts.

To Manage Diabetes

Most people do not connect physical therapists and diabetes management, but maybe they should. People with diabetes know that exercise can help their blood sugar. But sometimes, people with diabetes have problems with sensations in their feet and legs that may cause physical activity to be a bit tricky. If you have diabetes, see your endocrinologist often, but also make an appointment with your physical therapist as well.The American Physical Therapy Association hopes that by 2020, all physical therapists will enter the field with a doctorate. Chances are, your physical therapist already has earned this distinction. Listen to them if they give advice. Do the movements and exercises they suggest to stay pain-free and limber for as long as you can.