5 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist Before You Are “Injured”

By Guest Ninja Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT

Hi Ninjas! I’m thrilled to get to talk to you here on the MFF blog! I have met some of you (and miss you terribly already); but, for those of you I haven’t met yet, I’m a physical therapist in the D.C. area. My passion is helping people live awesome lives! So, of course, I want to help you reach your health and hotness goals.

Many people don’t have the slightest idea what a physical therapist does, or how we can help you. I’m on a mission to change that! Physical therapists can be a vital part of your Wellness Team, helping you to reduce the risk of injury so you can keep killing it at The Clubhouse.

Here are 5 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist Before You Are “Injured:”

1. You have a nagging problem that gets your attention only during training sessions. You may be fine doing all of your normal activities: walking up and down stairs, navigating the urban jungle, and twerking; but, every time you get into your workout, you get that same nagging discomfort. Don’t wait; see a physical therapist as soon as you are aware that something is not right. You may need joint mobilization, or specific stretching and strengthening exercises to get you back to feeling good again. Early treatment can prevent it from becoming a chronic problem. And all Ninjas know that chronic problems put a damper on reaching health and hotness goals. CLICK TO TWEET!

 

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Injured Ninja = no bueno

2. You are supplementing lifting heavy things with running, and looking to buy a new pair of running shoes. If you are not sure which type to purchase, we can take a look at your overall posture, and then specifically at your hips, knees, ankles and feet to determine what type of shoe may be best for you. We will look at your current shoes for wear patterns and assess your gait to determine if there is any  dysfunction that may be contributing to issues you are having. Many physical therapists utilize slow motion video for gait assessment. We’ll make recommendations based on your overall joint structure and your goals. By the way, don’t run through an injury, speed limping is not sexy.

3. You have a chronic health condition such as arthritis, lupus or diabetes which may complicate your body’s response to training. Physical therapists have extensive knowledge of neurological, general health, and orthopedic conditions. We can make nutrition and exercise recommendations to help you stay active while preventing inflammation and injury. We can also provide manual therapy for inflamed joints to prevent loss of range of motion, alleviate pain, and generally keep you moving like a superhero.

4. You sit all day in your job. People who sit at a desk all day tend to have short hip flexor muscles (which Mark lovingly refers to as “Porn Star Posture”), tight pectoral muscles and weak scapular stabilizing muscles. These imbalances can set you up for injury when you begin to lift heavier weights. A physical therapist can assess your posture as well as the strength and coordination of your central core stabilizing muscles. Then we can provide manual therapy combined with therapeutic exercises to get your ribs over your pelvis so you look like a Highly Sexy Mother F*cker. We can provide ergonomic recommendations for you to alleviate the effects of repetitive strain injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and chronic tension headaches.

5. You pee when you work out. Gurl, that is so not sexy. Despite claims that peeing during workouts proves that you’re “elite,” we know that it’s a sign that your body is heading toward dysfunction, and dysfunction is no bueno. If you leak urine when you work out, raise your hand (don’t worry, no one can see you). Good. Now put your hand down and go get some help with this issue so you can wear those booty shorts again. A physical therapist specializing in Women’s Health (a misnomer, since men also deal with pelvic floor issues) can assess and treat Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). This issue is quite common, but most definitely treatable. Don’t ignore it (it won’t go away).

There you have it! Five reasons to see a physical therapist before you are so broken that you have to stop training! Take care of the issues in your tissues before they derail you from the rainbow path to Unicorpia.

Questions? Comments? Let your voice be heard! Sound off below!

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Ann Wendel, PT, ATC, CMTPT

Ann holds a B.S. in P.E. Studies with a concentration in Athletic Training from the University of Delaware, and a Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) licensed in Virginia, a Licensed Physical Therapist, and a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist (CMTPT).

Over the past two decades, Ann has continually developed as a health care professional. She started her career working with high school, college and professional athletes, and later went on to work at an area hospital treating patients with a wide variety of Orthopedic and Neurological conditions.

Ann received her CMTPT through Myopain Seminars in 2011 and now utilizes Trigger Point Dry Needling as a treatment modality, along with Pilates, weight lifting, and nutrition/lifestyle consulting.  Ann owns and operates Prana Physical Therapy in Alexandria, VA. She can be contacted through her website: http://prana-pt.com/

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