Let’s be blunt for a moment. Most people don’t understand what a physical therapist can offer. The typical response when we tell individuals what our profession is, their response is, “You must give great massages!” Most people will never know what a physical therapist is until they need one. After which, they always say the same thing, you guys, (not to forget about the ladies), are a vital part of society. How did we get confused with a different specialty like massage therapy?
Let’s set the record straight. Massage therapy today, is most popular for relaxation. Most individuals envision an environment where you go to a professional, and have a sixty to ninety-minute massage full of therapeutic bliss. This usually entails relaxing music, one-on-one attention, and a serene environment. A therapeutic massage from a therapist may be a different story. Imagine this, cringing as your physical therapist rubs down your IT band (that’s along the thigh), while jumping off the therapy table and thinking in your head “why did I ever choose to go through this? I never signed up for this!” After twenty minutes of agonizing manual therapy, all you can wait for is your physical therapist to say those magic words, “we’re done!” In your head you’ve already made up your mind, “I AM NEVER COMING BACK!” That’s when, on your way out, you notice that the pain that has been limiting you for months, from walking pain free has disappeared.
How the heck is this possible? That’s because physical therapists are masters of musculoskeletal injuries. Of course you’ve heard this, but what does this really mean? Physical therapists are trained to spot and correct musculoskeletal deformities from the rigorous educational program, and years of experience of treating hundreds (100’s) even thousands (1000’s) of clients we see on a yearly basis. It’s truly a science, one that we hold in the highest regard. The next time you see your physical therapist, bite your tongue and tell him/her these words, “I appreciate everything that you do for me, even if its not therapeutic bliss. I’m sure you mean well, and you’re doing the best to get me back to normal living. Oh yeah, and Happy National Physical Therapy Month!"