For people who are sick, going to the doctor and getting a diagnosis is common sense. But who do you see for diagnosis if you've got a movement "illness"? If your knee hurts when you go hiking, you can't get on and off the floor to play with your kids, or you can't lift things to do your job, who do you see?
Physical therapists are experts in human movement with doctoral level training and should be your first stop for movement issues. After a comprehensive evaluation, a PT will give you a movement diagnosis. Like a medical diagnosis, your movement diagnosis will describe what's causing your difficulty with movement. Some examples would be difficulty standing from a chair due to an overly dominant hip flexor, parascapular weakness, or reduced arch height and functionality due to weak foot intrinsics.
Human movement is complex and influenced by many factors, including the pulmonary, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, integumentary and musculoskeletal systems (that's your heart, brain, glands, blood vessels, skin, and muscles!). Because of
the complexity of the movement system, getting the diagnosis right can be difficult. Physical therapists have extensive training and expertise in human movement and should be your go-to practitioner for movement issues. Getting an accurate diagnosis is important because it sets the roadmap for treatment.
Once your movement "illness" is correctly diagnosed, your physical therapist can design the correct treatment plan for your issues. Before you know it, you'll be back to work or play and moving as well as if not better than before!
Many doctors are not aware of all the different conditions that physical therapists can treat, so don't be surprised if your doctor doesn't refer you to physical therapy before you ask. The good news is that unless your insurance company requires it, you do not need a prescription to go and see a physical therapist first. Even better, Dr. Clark is a direct-pay physical therapist, so you can go and see her for your aches and pains and pay the same low out of pocket rates as everyone else, even if your insurance company doesn't like it! Skip the pills and long waits for surgeries that might not even work and go straight to a physical therapist for safe, non-invasive, evidence-based treatment today, and feel better.