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We live here to pursue an active lifestyle. Some run ultramarathons or ski 100 days a season. Others enjoy everyday activities such as gardening, walking the dog, or keeping up with the grandkids. We rely on these activities to maintain the quality of life we’ve prioritized by choosing to live here. When injury, illness, or pain gets in the way our sense of well-being diminishes. Physical therapy can help remedy the situation.

October is National Physical Therapy Awareness Month, an opportunity to explore how this treatment improves our lives.

“The big thing to know about physical therapy is that it improves a person’s physical function allowing them to interact with their environment more effectively, whether that’s sports, hiking up a mountain, or playing with your kids,” said Stacy Dolan, 36-year physical therapist at Logan Health. “Physical therapy provides an overall picture of body mechanics that gives the person the knowledge and self-awareness to decrease stressors on the body that cause pain.”

Injury, illness, and other natural changes to our bodies cause pain and deformity can be treated with physical therapy. In fact, physical therapy can help some people avoid surgery, or take drugs for treatment.

“Physical therapy can free some people from being reliant on pain medications,” said Dolan. “With education and practice people can recover from injuries or chronic pain allowing them to be more self-reliant rather than reliant on pills, it empowers them.”

More ways to benefit from physical therapy include:

Injury recovery and prevention. Athletes use physical therapy to get back to the action and learn how to avoid further injury. Anyone can use physical therapy to build strength and improve balance to get back to activities and learn to prevent falls.

Surgery prep and recovery. Physical therapy before surgery helps prep the body and reduce complications after. Post-surgery physical therapy builds strength and mobility during the healing process.

Surgery prevention. Physical therapy can help heal an injury, which is often a shorter, less expensive alternative to surgery.

Manage pain. Pain from certain ailments like arthritis, headaches, or carpel tunnel, can be reduced or eliminated through therapeutic exercises that restore muscle and joint function.

Treat dizziness and vertigo. The area between our ears and brain is called the vestibular system. Vestibular therapy can help manage these ailments through treatments that improve balance.

Treat pelvic dysfunction. Another specialty called pelvic floor therapy treats bladder and bowel problems, pelvic pain, or sexual dysfunction.

Recover or manage thedisease. Physical therapy helps people recover from a stroke, navigate Parkinson’s Disease, manage diabetes, and even assist in the fight of some cancers. All of these and many more cause pain, weakness, and disability. Physical therapy can provide treatment plans to improve health and function.

Physical therapy helps us live longer lives! Physical activity, supported by physical therapy, keeps us fit and happy.

If challenges get in the way of your mobility and happiness, physical therapy can help you get back on track. Learn more at logan.org/rehab.