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.

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

Knee Stability

Over at our Brevard clinic, working on hand eye coordination and left knee stability following surgery!

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