Choosing a PT first can often lead to better outcomes and lower out of pocket cost.

Consider Physical Therapy First

Many people with pain or joint issues immediately turn to their primary care physician for guidance, only to be referred to physical therapy as the potential solution for their pain and discomfort.  Often times it seeing a physical therapist first can lead to better outcomes and lower out of pocket cost.  Moreover, if your physical therapist determines that therapy is not the best course of action, she/he will refer you to the appropriate doctor.  Here are some reasons why the team at Southeastern Physical Therapy believes seeing a physical therapist early in the diagnosis stage can be beneficial:

Early Physical Therapy (PT) leads to better outcomes

Studies have shown that people who receive physical therapy sooner have better outcomes, lower costs, are less likely to have surgery, use opioids or have unnecessary testing. Because back pain is so common, there is a lot of outcome data from people with back pain. A study of 150,000 insurance claims published in Health Services Research, found that those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription, a 28 percent lower probability of having advanced imaging services, and a 15 percent lower probability of an emergency department visit. Unfortunately, only 2% of people with back pain start with PT, and only 7% get to PT within 90 days.

Early PT saves money

The rising cost of healthcare is well known and early physical therapy is something that has been shown to reduce costs without reducing the effectiveness of treatment. A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT) showed that patients who obtained physical therapy via direct access had significantly lower medical costs—an average of $1,543 less per patient than those who chose referral from a physician. They also had significantly fewer visits and spent significantly fewer days in care.

Surgery may not be as effective as you think

Many patients look to surgery as the fix for their pain, but surgeries aren’t always as effective as patients believe. A large study looking at worker’s comp patients with back pain found that people who have surgery have a 1 in 4 chance of having a repeat surgery, a 1 in 3 chance of a major complication, and a 1 in 3 chance of never returning to work again. Recent large studies of arthroscopic surgeries for meniscal tears have shown no difference in outcomes between people who have surgery and those who don’t. Other procedures with questionable effectiveness include kyphoplasty, vertebroplasty, and injections for nonspecific back pain.

So, if you were planning on seeing your primary care physician (PCP) or a specialist for an orthopedic condition or pain and you haven’t seen a physical therapist yet, you should consider making PT your first stop. You could end up getting better faster for less money and you might avoid riskier treatments like opioids or surgery.

About Southeastern Physical Therapy

Founded in 1999, Southeastern Physical Therapy (SEPT) is locally owned by Darren Cady, a physical therapist. We are proud of our long-term commitment and service to Buncombe County, Henderson County and the surrounding areas.

Southeastern Physical Therapy leads the way in sports rehab and physical therapy – treating orthopedic, muscular, bone and joint injuries, ailments and pain. Whether it is a sprain or post- operative repair, we have the experience and expertise to do the best job and get the results you deserve.

Southeastern works with all provider networks and welcomes walk-ins. All insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. And, with 8 outpatient locations and over 50 Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, Southeastern will provide you the care and attention you need with the convenience of a clinic near you.

Learn more about Southeastern Physical Therapy at: www.southeastpt.com.

A PT can help you choose the ideal workout plan

Are Your Workouts Giving You What You Want?

How much thought have you put into the exercises you’re going to use for your next workout? Did you choose them yourself, or did you find them on the internet or in a magazine? What’s your workout designed for? Do those goals match yours? Are the exercises even safe for you? Using the wrong program can lead to wasting time in the gym, frustration, plateaus in progress and injury. As physical therapists, the team at Southeastern Physical Therapy does more than help people overcome injuries.  Our team is also skilled in establishing and evaluating exercise programs to help patients live a healthier lifestyle.  Let’s take a closer look at what goes into program design and the cost of getting it wrong.

Exercise Selection

There are many things to think about when choosing specific exercises. Machine vs. free weights, isolation vs. compound lifts, number of reps and sets, etc. Each one of these factors affects the results, so making the wrong choices could lead to wasting time working on the wrong things, limit your results or lead to injury.

Technique

If you choose the right exercises, but don’t know how to do them properly you will again limit your results, or worse, end up injured. Poor technique leads to inefficient movement and limits the power your muscles can create. It also changes the load on your muscles, joints, and ligaments which can lead to pain and injury.

Volume

Volume is a way of thinking about how much work you’re doing during a workout. Doing a few reps with a heavy weight or a lot of reps with a light weight could end up being the same volume. Same goes for running a shorter distance quickly uphill vs a longer run at a slower pace on flat terrain. If your volume is too great you won’t recover well between workouts and create the possibility of injury. Too little volume and you won’t see results.

Progression

If you’ve been doing the same exercises with the same weight and the same number of reps and sets, you’re not progressing. Same goes if you jump on the treadmill for the same amount of time with the same settings each time. To make progress, things have to change and the program that works for your first 6 months won’t work for you 2 years down the road.

Designing an exercise program is a complex challenge with a lot of factors to consider. Most people have a history of injuries and don’t have perfect movement in every joint which further complicates things. If you’re not making progress or just want to make sure your workouts are as effective as they can be, have your physical therapist take a look at your program. Or, contact our team at Southeastern Physical Therapy.  Your PT can help design an individualized program to help you reach your goals while keeping you safe and injury free.

About Southeastern Physical Therapy

Founded in 1999, Southeastern Physical Therapy (SEPT) is locally owned by Darren Cady, a physical therapist. We are proud of our long-term commitment and service to Buncombe County, Henderson County and the surrounding areas.

Southeastern Physical Therapy leads the way in sports rehab and physical therapy – treating orthopedic, muscular, bone and joint injuries, ailments and pain. Whether it is a sprain or post- operative repair, we have the experience and expertise to do the best job and get the results you deserve.

Southeastern works with all provider networks and welcomes walk-ins. All insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. And, with 8 outpatient locations and over 50 Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, Southeastern will provide you the care and attention you need with the convenience of a clinic near you.

Learn more about Southeastern Physical Therapy at: www.southeastpt.com.

Why You Need a Physical Therapist on Your Healthcare Team

With health in sharp focus as a result of the pandemic, now is a good time to look at the team of experts you have in place and see if there are any improvements you could make. You probably have a family doctor, dentist, and optometrist. Maybe you have some specialist physicians, a trainer, or a massage therapist. If a physical therapist isn’t a part of your healthcare team, you’re missing out on taking care of a big part of your health. To understand why you need a physical therapist, you need to understand what they do.  Let’s give you a perspective from the team at Southeastern Physical Therapy.

Physical Therapists Help You Do Things

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) defines physical therapists (PTs) as “health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.” So physical therapists help you do things that you have trouble with. That could be going for a hike, playing with your kids, or getting through a day of work without pain.

Physical Therapists Reduce Pain

Chronic pain is a huge problem worldwide. A big part of that is low back pain. Statistically, around 80% of people will have low back pain in their lifetimes. Physical therapists are trained to treat pain without surgery or medications. If you have back pain, an arthritic knee, neck pain, or an old injury that won’t go away, a physical therapist may be able to help.

Physical Therapists Keep You Healthy

The APTA goes on to say that “PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.” That means that a physical therapist can help you determine your risk for injury, choose the right fitness program, and improve the quality of your life by improving your health and ability to move.

Physical Therapists Can Help You Live Longer

It’s well known that the risk of many of the leading causes of death can be reduced by exercise. Some of these conditions would include heart disease, cancer, lung disease, diabetes, and stroke. By helping you move better with less pain, finding the right exercise program, and helping you to make healthy lifestyle choices, a PT could help you live longer.

Physical therapists have a unique set of skills and expertise that can do a lot to improve your health and quality of life. If you don’t have one, consider adding a physical therapist from Southeastern Physical Therapy to your healthcare team.

About Southeastern Physical Therapy

Founded in 1999, Southeastern Physical Therapy (SEPT) is locally owned by Darren Cady, a physical therapist. We are proud of our long-term commitment and service to Buncombe County, Henderson County and the surrounding areas.

Southeastern Physical Therapy leads the way in sports rehab and physical therapy – treating orthopedic, muscular, bone and joint injuries, ailments and pain. Whether it is a sprain or post- operative repair, we have the experience and expertise to do the best job and get the results you deserve.

Southeastern works with all provider networks and welcomes walk-ins. All insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. And, with 8 outpatient locations and over 50 Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, Southeastern will provide you the care and attention you need with the convenience of a clinic near you.

Learn more about Southeastern Physical Therapy at: www.southeastpt.com.

fitness regimen

5 Reasons You Need a Physical Therapist to Coordinate Your Fitness Regimen

Physical therapists aren’t just for people that are injured or have had surgery. Physical therapists (PTs) can also help healthy people improve their fitness by establishing a proper fitness regimen. Here are 5 reasons why the team at Southeastern Physical Therapy believes you should consider seeing yours.

You Want a Baseline for your Fitness Regimen

When you see a physical therapist to improve your fitness, you’ll get an assessment of your strength, range of motion, posture and movement patterns. This not only helps your physical therapist design a customized program just for you, it gives them a baseline to compare things to in the future should you start having pain or suffer an injury.

You Want Expert Guidance

Sure, other professionals could help with your fitness routine, but the fitness industry is not well regulated. Some certifications just require an online course and paying a fee. There are no licenses or other requirements to use many titles. Becoming a physical therapist requires at least a bachelor’s degree and most PTs practicing today have a doctorate. Every physical therapist has passed a national board exam and maintains a state license. That guarantees you that every physical therapist is a verified expert in human movement.

You Want to Prevent Injury

The physical therapists at Southeastern Physical Therapy don’t just work to heal injuries, they are also experts in preventing them. After a thorough assessment, a PT can help you design a program that will not only help you reach your fitness goals, but that can address any issues that increase your risk for injury.

You Want Unbiased Advice

Yoga instructors will want you to do yoga. Personal trainers will want you to come to their gym. Pilates instructors will want you to do Pilates. Strength coaches will want you to strength train. A physical therapist doesn’t have a bias or vested interest as to what type of fitness regimen you choose. They are only interested in helping you reach your goals.

You Have a History

If you have some kind of history that affects your ability to exercise, a physical therapist is the best person to help you design a fitness regimen. It doesn’t matter if it’s an old injury from athletics or work, back pain that comes up from time to time, COPD, arthritis or heart disease, a PT can help you safely work around it and meet your fitness goals.

About Southeastern Physical Therapy

Founded in 1999, Southeastern Physical Therapy (SEPT) is locally owned by Darren Cady, a physical therapist. We are proud of our long-term commitment and service to Buncombe County, Henderson County and the surrounding areas.

Southeastern Physical Therapy leads the way in sports rehab and physical therapy – treating orthopedic, muscular, bone and joint injuries, ailments and pain. Whether it is a sprain or post- operative repair, we have the experience and expertise to do the best job and get the results you deserve.

Southeastern works with all provider networks and welcomes walk-ins. All insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. And, with 8 outpatient locations and over 90 Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, Southeastern will provide you the care and attention you need with the convenience of a clinic near you.

Learn more about Southeastern Physical Therapy at: www.southeastpt.com.

Southeastern Physical Therapy Says: When the Weather Gets Cold, Don’t Forget to Warm Up!

We all know here in the Asheville, North Carolina area that colder weather means some changes to how we exercise. Of course, it’s harder to motivate yourself to get outside for a run or bike ride when the temperature drops, and the shorter days compress our schedules, but there are changes in your body that affect your ability to exercise too. For many people with arthritis or other joint problems, cold weather brings more complaints of pain. To stay warm, our bodies narrow blood vessels to reduce bloodflow to the skin, and more superficial muscles. That means that there is an increased risk of muscle strains in the cold. There is also an increased strain on the heart because of the narrowed blood vessels. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be active outdoors in the cold, it just means you may have to make a few changes to your routine. Here are a few changes the team at Southeastern Physical Therapy wants you to consider:

Warm up right

A good warm up is always important, but because of the tendency for joints to be stiffer, and bloodflow to muscles to be reduced in the cold, it’s even more important that you do it right this time of year. To start, do something to get your heart rate up a bit, maybe a brisk walk or light jog. Follow that up with a dynamic warm up rather than static stretches. This could include walking or jogging while pulling your knees up high to your chest. Maybe some high kicks in front of you with straight knees to get your hamstrings loosened. A walking lunge with an upper body twist can get your whole body moving. Cater your warm up to what you have planned in your workout. If you’re not sure how it should look, ask your physical therapist!

Dress right

Dressing in layers allows you to adjust your insulation to your activity level. After you warm up, you might want to take off a layer to avoid getting too hot during your main activity. You’ll have it there later to put back on when your activity level drops and you start getting too cold.  Don’t forget about the sun either – just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the UV rays are gone. Sunscreen and sunglasses aren’t just for the summer. A lip balm with SPF can protect you not only from the sun but from the wind too.

Stay hydrated

Drink water before, during, and after your workout. The temperature may be down, but you’ll still sweat and you’ll still lose water vapor in your breath. The drier air in winter lets your sweat evaporate more quickly, so it’s easy to underestimate how much fluid you’ve lost.

Cool down

When you’re done, don’t rush to get inside and crawl under a blanket. Cool down properly. Keep moving with a walk or another form of active recovery to let your heart rate come down. After exercise is the right place for static stretching. You can also head inside for some foam rolling or self-massage.  The days being shorter and the temperatures being lower don’t mean you’re stuck inside for all of your exercise. If you follow these tips, you can safely keep moving outside. If you’d like a customized warm up or cool down, or have questions about your exercise routine, your physical therapist is a great person to ask!

About Southeastern Physical Therapy

Founded in 1999, Southeastern Physical Therapy (SEPT) is locally owned by Darren Cady, a physical therapist. We are proud of our long-term commitment and service to Buncombe County, Henderson County and the surrounding areas.

Southeastern Physical Therapy leads the way in sports rehab and physical therapy – treating orthopedic, muscular, bone and joint injuries, ailments and pain. Whether it is a sprain or post- operative repair, we have the experience and expertise to do the best job and get the results you deserve.

Southeastern works with all provider networks and welcomes walk-ins. All insurances are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid. And, with 8 outpatient locations and over 90 Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants, Southeastern will provide you the care and attention you need with the convenience of a clinic near you.

Learn more about Southeastern Physical Therapy at: www.southeastpt.com