Haven’t thought about having an annual PT exam? We’re biased, but we think you should. You see your optometrist and dentist regularly because your eyes and teeth are important. You get an annual physical from your family physician. You might even be getting ready to see your accountant to get your yearly taxes done.
But what about the rest of your body? Have you lost range of motion, or strength? How’s your balance and coordination? These all affect how you move. You might not notice small changes until you have problems like trouble lifting a heavy load, joint pain, or a sprained ankle from a stumble. An annual PT exam can catch problems early, then correct them before they lead to something bigger.
What to Expect
An annual PT exam is quick and easy. Your annual visit may include:
- A history of your injuries, as well as a health history
- Assessment of your strength, balance, flexibility, etc.
- A review of your movement goals (do you want to run a marathon? Get on and off the floor easily playing with your grandkids?)
- A review and update of your exercise program
How Important Is Moving Well?
There is strong evidence suggesting that movement is a valuable predictor of future health and resilience against disease. Moving well can keep you healthier and help you live longer. Here are some examples of the power of movement when it comes to predicting future health:
Gait velocity is how fast you walk. Studies have shown that if your typical walking speed is over 1 m/s or 3.3 ft/s, you’re likely able to complete typical daily activities independently. You’re also less likely to be hospitalized and less likely to have adverse events like falls.
Get On and Off the Floor
A series of studies suggest that if you can go from standing to sitting on the floor and back to standing without using your hands, you’re a lot less likely to die than someone who can’t. It’s called the sitting-rising test. You can find the instructions and examples with a quick internet search.
Notice that both gait velocity and the sitting-rising test aren’t specific to any one thing. The risk of hospitalization in the gait velocity studies was hospitalization for any reason. Death in the sitting-rising studies was death from anything. So science says that moving well is incredibly important to your overall health. It’s also important for your quality of life. We think moving well is just as important as your teeth, eyes, and taxes. If you agree, get that annual PT exam scheduled!
Why provide an annual physical therapy visit – https://www.apta.org/patient-care/interventions/annual-checkup
Physical Therapists’ Role in Prevention, Wellness, Fitness, Health Promotion, and Management of Disease and Disability – https://www.apta.org/apta-and-you/leadership-and-governance/policies/pt-role-advocacy
Ability to sit and rise from the floor is closely correlated with all-cause mortality risk — ScienceDaily
Gait velocity as a single predictor of adverse events in healthy seniors aged 75 years and older – PubMed (nih.gov)