Getting Active Again with the Physical Therapy Advantage
By Andy Nixon, STN Reporter
We are given one body during our lives. To sum up Warren Buffet’s outlook – “if you were given one car for your entire life, how would you maintain it?” One local clinic, Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists, wants to dispel the myths and ask – what’s your impossible?
When Physical Therapy is mentioned, severe injury recovery, strange exercises, and navigating large health organizations come to mind. Impossible to some could be placing soup cans into a cupboard or playing with your grandchildren. Myths surrounding Physical Therapy (PT), referred to as “pain and torture” by some, tend to be unfounded. When done correctly, with a defined goal and plan of care, I learned PT should be an irreplaceable tool for ongoing health and mobility, regardless of age.
Although required after joint replacement and many other procedures, PT “offers patients a chance to be proactive in their recovery”, according to Mark Stiles of Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists (ORS). Mark’s team refers to this as “pre-habilitation” which allows the patient to build strength before having a joint replaced. He states “remember, joint replacement surgery is replacing the joint itself,” adding, “by increasing the strength of the surrounding muscles, post-surgery recovery time can be drastically reduced.” A plus for anybody who would like to remain active.
Ease of accessibility is another consideration in your PT journey; while large healthcare providers offer physical therapy, choosing a local facility with convenient parking and minimal traffic may also fit your needs. A doctor's referral is not necessary to begin, and with two full-time physical therapists on staff, new patients at ORS can have a consultation visit in as little as two days – morning, noon, or night. Mark adds “we know people are busy, so our appointments are flexible to make sure it will be easy on them.”
Curious about the length of treatment, Mark informed me that most patients require 10 – 12 visits. He also happens to be a former PT patient before joining ORS. “My hips were sore every day when I woke up,” adding, “I wanted to leave the pain meds at the pharmacy and see if I could find another viable solution for my discomfort.” After his course of treatment, he mentioned the pain is gone due to the plan of care he followed with his physical therapist.
Once the recommended treatment is completed, a trip to your primary care physician will let you know if the PT should continue. Treatments can target back pain, hip pain, knee pain, and head, neck, and shoulder discomfort. Mark also mentions “ORS has been assisting folks with jaw-related headaches including migraines; caused by the clenching of teeth while asleep, which we noticed a large uptick in due to Covid-related stresses.” You can also work with the therapist if you experience balance or fall issues. With most insurance plans covering your PT journey, it may be worth checking out.
For the initial evaluation, plan to spend about 90 minutes at the facility as the physical therapist develops a plan of care. The plan will cover the number of visits and tasks performed during those visits that will allow you to reach your goals. Once the initial evaluation is completed, ORS will fax the plan of care to your doctor for his or her approval. It really is that simple.
After my interview, physical therapy seems to be a preventative care tool not utilized by many. With a wide range of services offered right on Jackson Avenue, stop by to meet the staff and learn more about this approach.
To learn more or schedule your consultation, contact ORS Physical Therapy at (877) 202-2175 or stop in at 3921 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor. You can also visit www.ORSMI.com for more information.