With the start of the New Year, many people’s deductibles start over. Suddenly, that bothersome knee pain (or insert your own body part/ailment) doesn’t seem to be worth the cost of the ever increasing medical bill. Does this sound familiar?
While we completely respect your dollar, we highly encourage you to seek professional help before that small injury causes more of an issue down the road. With more people having higher deductibles, they may avoid seeking medical care until they can’t tolerate the pain anymore. However, injuries are easier to resolve in the earlier acute or sub-acute stages rather than the chronic, later stages.
We all tend to think it will get better in a few days but then weeks come and go. We continue with our busy schedules and make excuses for why we don’t seek treatment. Time and time again I see people that didn’t realize physical therapy was an option for them. If they would have started their medical treatment sooner, it would ultimately have saved them time, money, and relieved their pain.
There have been many studies on the effectiveness of early physical therapy intervention with musculoskeletal injuries. One article explored assigning people with low back pain into groups: early therapy intervention and delayed therapy groups. The outcomes showed that among the 3 groups, the patients in the early intervention had more favorable outcomes including fewer physician visits, less restricted work days, days off from work, and a shorter healing time. (Zigenfus, et al., 2000)
When to Start Physical Therapy Treatment?
For the majority of cases, “the sooner the better.” If you aren’t sure, start with a COMPLIMENTARTY FREE 15 MINUTE SCREEN. Call any office to schedule. Prompt treatment benefits include but are not limited to:
§ Decrease need for opioids or surgeries
§ Relieving your pain quicker via joint mobility techniques, soft tissue massage, or modalities
§ Improving your scar tissue quality and mobility using techniques to guide the direction it forms
§ Getting you back to a sport or work sooner
§ Strengthen or stretch the injured area with individually prescribed home exercise programs
§ Correct any biomechanical faults that may be affecting your movement pattern
What if I do Nothing?
Injuries that are left untreated can take longer to heal and have lingering pain. In addition, they are more likely to reoccur or have flare ups. This can leave you with:
· Muscle weakness
· Altered movement patterns or avoidance of a movement
· Joint stiffness and loss of range of motion
· Abnormal scar tissue formation
Remember that symptoms lasting longer than three month can become habitual and are much harder to resolve. The sooner you get on top of your symptoms the better your outcome.
While it may cost you a little more now, it will save you money in the long run. Let the New Year equal a new you! Don’t let that deductible dictate your health and functional mobility!
Zigenfus G, Yin, J, Giang G, Fogarty W (2000) Effectiveness of Early Physical Therapy in the Treatment of Acute Low Back Musculoskeletal Disorders. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 42(1) 35.