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National Physical Therapy Month: Experts in Movement

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Have you ever thought about how many ways there are to simply “move”? From walking, to standing, to reaching into a cabinet, to texting a friend — movement is part of our everyday life. So, when something impacts your ability to move, it can feel disabling and life-changing.

Luckily, this is where physical therapy comes in.

If you have had an injury or surgery that limited your movement, you probably have an understanding of physical therapy. But, for others, the concept of physical therapy may seem a little confusing.

Physical therapy can help you gain or regain the physical abilities needed for day-to-day functioning, working, or participating in sports or other activities.

October is National Physical Therapy Month — a time to highlight the benefits of physical therapy and the important role physical therapists play in improving your quality of life.

“A physical therapist is an individual who specializes in mobility. We work to restore, maintain, and promote physical function,” said Bob Farmer, physical therapist at Iredell Rehab at Taylorsville.

Physical therapists are experts in movement, and their role is highly diverse.

For instance, if you are recovering from an orthopedic surgery, a physical therapist can help you restore strength and movement.

Some other common reasons you may need physical therapy include:

  • Back or neck pain
  • Hip fractures
  • Balance problems
  • Muscle strains and soft-tissue sprains
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • A stroke that impairs movement
  • Arthritis
  • A heart condition or event that limits physical activity

According to Farmer, physical therapists treat many musculoskeletal problems, which are conditions that affect your joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. With this type of condition, physical therapists work with you to provide pain relief and better daily functioning.

Additionally, physical therapists can work with you to prevent injuries before they even happen.

“For example, if my patient is a jumping athlete, we work on learning how to land properly. If my patient is elderly, and has experienced falls at home, we work on balance exercises and other fall interventions. If my patient has back pain, we work on learning how to do things like lifting, pushing, pulling, as well as general back care techniques and management,” said Farmer.

While physical therapy can improve and prevent a wide variety of health-related issues, at first glance, it may seem nerve-racking, especially following a surgery or injury.

“For some people, it’s the fear of the unknown and not knowing what to expect. For others, it’s the worry that physical therapy will be painful,” said Farmer.

According to Farmer, people sometimes believe they have to hurt to get better. However, that is not the case.

“You’re not here to be hurt because that is not going to make you better. We go slow and steady to progress you into functional activities. If you’re not ready, then we will not do it and will try something else,” he said. “It’s all about what the person is capable of doing, and some things just take time.”

However, to reap the many benefits of physical therapy, you must listen and follow recommended instructions. Physical therapy is a team effort between you and the physical therapist.

“In order to get better, you need to carry through with the activities we are doing here in the clinic, at home,” said Farmer.

Bob Farmer practices at Iredell Rehab at Taylorsville, located inside the Family Care Center of Taylorsville. If you would like to make a physical therapy appointment with Farmer, please speak with your primary care provider about a referral.

“I love helping and encouraging people from all walks of life. It’s really just about taking care of people and doing what you can to help someone have a better day or a better quality of life,” said Farmer.

To learn more, please call Iredell Rehab at Taylorsville at 828-635-3158. Physical Therapy services are also available in Statesville and Mooresville. To contact either of those offices, call 704-878-4960 for Statesville, or 704-360-4690 for Mooresville.