Back-to-school season has got us thinking a lot about learning and grades. We thought about how throughout life we are graded in almost every arena. When we’re young, teachers grade how well we grasp the subjects and materials they teach, and coaches grade our athletic abilities and performance in sports. Then as we get older, employers grade our contributions at work, and doctors grade our bodies based on symptoms and medical tests. Physical therapists, then, are able to give the most important grade of all – the ability to grade movement.

You may not think much about your regular day-to-day movement, but because our bodies are almost always moving, they can fall in and out of balance on an almost constant basis. Think about how we are constantly connected to electronic devices, and consider the expectation that we must multitask in order to be efficient. That often leads to spending more time sitting and less time being physically active. Then some of us train all year to compete in one sport without ensuring we have proper rest. Whatever the case may be, many of us power through stiffness and pain, thinking it’s a normal part of life.

Although we may not often consider it, these factors do have long-term effects on our health, both physically and emotionally. Choosing to live with injuries and chronic pain will not only limit your quality of life, but will also have further reaching negative effects than you may realize. When we live this way, it leaves us drained and ill-prepared to meet the daily challenges that come our way. When our muscles never have a chance to truly relax, they tighten over time. This tightening prevents efficient movement.

Want to make sure your movement makes the grade?

Making time in your day for exercise is definitely a step in the right direction, but remember if you are involved in physical activity while your muscles are unbalanced, you are setting yourself up for injuries. The good news is that our bodies are amazing, and given the right environment, they can heal themselves.

Physical therapists can work with you to help your movement make the grade by removing obstacles that may be preventing efficient movement and addressing the muscular imbalances responsible for chronic pain and injuries.

Therapy that makes the grade:

Our therapists and assistants at Penn-Ohio Rehabilitation are constantly learning new therapy programs and techniques to bring you the best and most innovative care possible. Along with local youngsters, we are “back-to-school” as we continually complete education requirements to keep our licenses active.

Right now, we’re working on learning about: pelvic health for women, updates on concussion management, orthopedic management for runners, cyclists and swimmers, dealing with dementia, and updated treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. The list is always growing so that we can offer our patients the best care possible.

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