By Steve Maze, DPT
Often when we hear “Physical Therapy” our thought is “what you do after
surgery” or where you go after a major injury like a broken arm or torn
ligament. At least that’s what I used to think…
And not too long ago, that pretty much was what it was.
However, over the past decade or, Physical Therapy has branched out of the
clinic and immersed itself into the world of health, fitness, and
performance. In doing so, it has played a major role in the approach of
optimizing human movement.
As fitness athleticism has grown, one major hurdle in achieving maximum
performance is the ability to perform various movement patterns such as
the overhead squat, deadlifts, pull-ups, and more. For many, these can be
very difficult not just to perform, but to actually get into the proper
position and execute the movement with optimal technique.
So, how does “PT” fit into this?
First, it can evaluate and assess your movement, injured or not.
For instance, you probably discovered after your first Crossfit class you
had some real difficulty performing an overhead squat. Or maybe every time you performed a thruster you feel a mild pinch in your shoulders. With simple things like that, it can be tough to figure out what the real issue is on your own.
What “PT” can do for you is evaluate and assess those issues your having.
Then give you specific strategies on how to effectively correct them and
get you on the right track for optimal human performance!
Second, “PT” services can speed up the process.
While 90% of the work and effort to correct your specific issues will be
on you, “PT” can provide that additional 10% that speed up the process and
get you where you need faster.
“PT” brings with it a ton of manual therapy techniques such as IASTM
(instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization), cupping, kinesio-taping,
joint manipulation, and more. All of these in combined with your mobility,
strength, and conditioning will get you movement and performing quicker
Third, “PT” helps maintain longevity.
Fitness and performance is a long game. It takes time to lose or gain
weight, build a foundation of strength, and develop high level aerobic
conditioning. And it is almost inevitable that we will most likely
encounter some bumps and bruises along the way.
Unfortunately, if we don’t address those little issues when they occur,
they may get worse over time and lead to a really big issue later on.
“PT” can help by not only fixing those minor injuries, but also it can
discover and correct those potential issues before they even occur!