Preventive physical therapy is exactly what it sounds like – a type of physical therapy that is offered to patients as a means of preventing injuries and pain. If you are a physical therapist, you may consider specializing in this type of therapy. It works by helping patients strengthen their body, improve their level of mobility, and by identifying potential problem areas associated with the body before they become major issues.

Preventative Physical Therapy

Who Benefits from Preventive Physical Therapy?

Preventive physical therapy is recommended for people who are at a higher risk for developing certain types of health conditions and/or physical injuries. Examples include people who have chronic conditions, athletes, and the elderly.

As a preventive physical therapist, you would conduct an evaluation of the patient to determine the risks that they face. Then, you could make the recommendation for preventive physical therapy; however, a recommendation is not required. Anyone who has a desire to take a proactive approach to their health may benefit from preventive physical therapy.

What Does Preventive Physical Therapy Involve?

There are many different components that may be involved in preventive physical therapy. These include – but are not limited to – the following:

  1. Injury Prevention – As a preventive physical therapist, you will identify and address various types of imbalances and/or weaknesses within the body that could increase the risk of suffering from an injury. You will help the patient in improving strength, optimizing flexibility, and identifying and addressing various types of imbalances and weaknesses in the body that can help in the prevention of injuries prior to occurring.
  2. Screening – Next, you will do assessments on your clients to identify any potential issues before they develop into a problem. You will be placing a focus on mobility, balance, posture, and strength.
  3. Education – As a preventive physical therapist, you will provide education on the proper body mechanics and the patient’s movement patterns. You may also recommend modifications to the lifestyle that may aid in the prevention of injuries and physical conditions from developing.
  4. Customized Treatment Plan – You will create an exercise and activity plan that is customized for your patient’s individual needs and the goals of improving overall physical function and reducing the risk associated with injury and physical conditions that the patient has.

What are the Benefits of Preventive Physical Therapy?

There are many benefits for patients who undergo preventive physical therapy. These include the following:

  1. Improvements in Function and in Mobility – Patients who participate in preventive physical therapy experience improvements in their overall level of functionality and in their mobility. This is especially beneficial to patients who are older and suffer from chronic conditions.
  2. Surgery Recovery – Preventive physical therapy also helps patients who have had surgery to recover quickly and successfully. This is due to the fact that the therapy helps improve strength and increase mobility.
  3. Improvements in Athletic Performance – If you work with an athlete, you can help them optimize their physical-based performance by improving their endurance levels, their overall strength, and their flexibility- which will allow them to reach new levels in their athletic performance.
  4. Improvements in Balance and Coordination – If patients participate in preventive physical therapy, they will experience improvements in their balance and their coordination. This is a great benefit for older adults and adults that have a neurological condition.
  5. Management of Chronic Conditions – Patients that have conditions like arthritis and multiple sclerosis can benefit from preventive physical therapy because this type of physical therapy helps to reduce and manage symptoms while providing a boost to the overall quality of life.

Should Patients with No Pain Take Preventive Physical Therapy?

For those who are active and wish to remain active, preventive physical therapy is highly advantageous. So, yes, if a patient has no pain, they should still consider signing up for preventive physical therapy.

When is Preventive Physical Therapy Helpful?

Preventive physical therapy is helpful for those individuals that want to manager their health and physical health complications. Examples are as follows:

  1. Helps in Rigorous Workouts.
  2. Identifies Problems That May be Developing in the Body
  3. Helps to Develop Personalized exercise Routines
  4. Provides Safe Assistance for New Types of Physical Activity
  5. Prevents Certain Health Issues from Developing

Do Patients Feel as if Preventive Physical Therapy is Worth it?

Patients do feel as if preventive physical therapy is worth it, but there are some downsides. The tops one being the need to attend appointments, experiencing increased pain and fatigue from the exercises introduced during the sessions, and the expense associated with the sessions – this is especially true for those that do not have insurance.

If patients have had standard physical therapy in the past, preventative physical therapy is not a must. One may simply follow the orders from the original therapist to avoid injuries and other problems from developing.

How Do I Become a Preventative Physical Therapist?

To become a preventative physical therapist, you simply have to become a physical therapist and place a focus on studying preventative medicine. The following steps are advised:

  1. Earn Your Degree in Physical Therapy
  2. Apply for a License with the Board of Physical Therapy in Your State
  3. Pass the Required Examinations
  4. Renew License as Necessary
  5. Study Preventative Medicine

What is the Occupational Outlook for Preventative Physical Therapists?

In 2023, the median pay for Preventative Physical Therapists was $47.94 an hour and $99,710 a year. The position is growing at a rate of 15%. This is a promising field for professionals that have a desire to help patient that are injured or ill to improve their movement level and manage pain. Preventative physical therapists work in many settings include hospitals, offices, clinic, the homes of their patients, nursing homes, and similar locations. Most of the work time is spent on the feet and working in an active manner with their patients.

What Are the Basic Responsibilities of Preventative Physical Therapists?

There are many basic responsibilities associated with preventative physical therapists. These include the following:

  1. They review the medical history of each patient that they work with and review the referrals and notes of other medical professionals
  2. They diagnose the functions and movements of each patient through careful observation and by listening to their experiences and concerns.
  3. They develop individualized care plans for each of their patients which outline the goals of the patient and the expected outcomes based on the treatment plan.
  4. They use exercises, hands-on therapy, stretching and various types of equipment in order to help patients improve their mobility, prevent injuries and other illnesses, and improve their overall health and wellness.
  5. They evaluate and they record the progress of a patient and modify the treatment plan as needed to reach the goals of the original treatment plan.
  6. They educate the patient and their family members about what can be expected from the recovery process and the treatment plan and instruct on how to cope with the challenges throughout the process.

Preventative physical therapists care for people of all ages who have a wide assortment of functional problems or issues that could lead to functional problems that result from injuries, sprain, strains, and fractures, they may also work with patients that have or are at risk for having arthritis, amputations, stroke, cerebral palsy, work-related injuries, sports-related issues, and other types of conditions. These specialists use many different techniques to care for their patients, depending on their age, issue, and severity of problem. Certain types od equipment, such as canes, walkers, and crutches may be used.

The goals are usually to improve mobility and to decrease the pain levels of the patient. The preventative physical therapist work varies by the type of patient that they have. For example, a young adult that is an athlete will need different care than that of an elderly individual that is in post-stroke recovery. Some preventative physical therapists will specialize in certain types of care – such as orthopedics, pediatric, to geriatrics. These specialists help patients to improve their mobility by creating fitness and wellness programs that encourage lifestyles that are healthy and active.

If you care about patients and want to work to improve the life of others by helping them prevent the onset of difficult illnesses and injuries, you should consider becoming a preventative physical therapist. You can provide a boost to your career by joining us here at Colorado Physical Therapy Network. This will prove to be highly beneficial to you if you have your own practice. We can – literally – help in changing the way that you do business.

We have created this network to provide organized support to many types of therapists – like those that have independent practices. Our structure allows for the best cooperation between therapists, doctors, payors and patients to completely benefit each. The ultimate goal is to help patients live productive lives as quickly as possible. Our network helps to make this possible. You will discover many of our clinics – that have full crednetials throughout the State of Colorado. We also offer resources that will help boost your career. For more information, click here:

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