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What does "physical therapy" mean to you?


Hi lovely Athletawell Members! I'm Leada, your physical therapy guide. As I help prepare some content to best suit your needs, I'd love to get an idea of what you think physical therapy, rehab, injury prevention, or any other related term means to you? The profession has evolved SO much over the last 15 years and all for the better!! Let's just say patient empowerment, exercise as medicine, mental health & recovery, and strength training are all getting a special focus now and I couldn't be more excited!


What do you think of when the words "physical therapy" come to mind? This will help me get an idea of what you already know/don't know.



I currently attend PT 3 x a week after a total knee replacement surgery. I actually look forward to my appts. I have learned so much about healing and how the mind deals with pain so I like the description "exercise as medicine".  That's exactly what PT has meant to me. I now understand how important it is to keep the entire body strong and flexible because if one part is incapacitated it can wreak havoc on other parts of the body trying to compensate.


THIS! I'm THRILLED you're having a positive experience @SJ101. I'm even more happy you're getting more out of it than just strength - truly appreciating the body!


For me PT means overall health and wellness for a lifetime. Mind and body empowerment. It's one thing to be treated for an injury or rehabbing after surgery it's another thing to learn the daily activities and skills needed to continue to move for a lifetime. My journey with PT start at the age of 18 with my first knee reconstruction after total ACL MCL LCL tears. At this point I was told I would walking again but not do much else. I've had several extensive surgeries as a result of this injury. My

 fabulous PT's enabled me to live a fabulous life doing what I love ... Running, skiing, hiking, rock climbing to name a few. After a total hip replacement 3 yrs ago I'm not running much but still ski, hike, and walk daily thanks to PT. Yes PT has changed a lot from the 70's to now, and for the better. Thank you for helping your patience.

This gave me goosebumps. Not a lot of people appreciate how much it has evolved from the 70's until now and I'm SO happy that it's getting noticed - and even happier you have experienced the benefits. Thank you for sharing @Ddhglover !


So ideally, tips and light therapies to help every day injuries and prevention. Neck shoulder and torso stretches.

Noted! I'll keep this in mind as I create content to help you all @Lupaescosces 😁


It means rehabbing from an injury and that it may not work for many months.  I joke that I am a PT frequent flyer. I have a punch card and get a free car wash for 10 visits. I do try and remember that what I do for rehab are also exercises I should continue to do at least 3 times a week but I never comply even though I know I should. Any advice


haha! Oh have I heard this story @ChiGirl. One thing that I found helps me take care of my weaker shoulders is embedding 2-3 PT exercises in my warm up for workout days! It's an additional 5-10 minutes, but you can spread them out over the week and still get all the benefits. If you're not having current pain, all the older exercises are PERFECT tools to sprinkle throughout warm ups or lighter exercise days, especially since they are likely appropriate for you still 🙂


Physical therapy means rehabbing the body from an injury - including re-education of how to move the injured body part as well - through strength training, etc.  I do agree with ChiGirl below that it takes many months and patience is involved....Overuse of my shoulder in the "work from home" environment has saddled me with sharp pains in left shoulder.....I have been going to PT since beginning of June to alleviate the pain, which is sharp - when I get a flareup.  

I noticed the work-from-home pain you talked about in the other thread! I will definitely be sharing tips on this.. perhaps starting with the cause for many (set up and time spent at the desk!)

Sounds great, Leada!  Tips would be much appreciated!😊


I think physical therapy is not always about getting rid of pain in the short term but rather how to manage a condition over the longterm.  What to do when pain kicks in, how to listen to our  body and honor its messages.  Strengthen what is weak, stretch what is tight.  It shouldn't be "three times a week, do twice a day" exercises - it should be incorporated into everything we do all day, everyday.

I love this @rlkoll. It truly is about applying it in ways that work for you, listening to your body, and learning to honor its needs. This is one goal with treating patients - I'm glad you said this 🙂


As I age, I seem to end up in physical therapy for a repeat problem (often) or a new one. Right now I have started with lower left lumbar issues, I thought because of issues with my left hip bursitis. They think it is unrelated and it's helping!! I am so happy I see little improvements. After three years of shots and PT on the hip, nothing worked. But I might add, I'm at a different PT place now. I'm hoping I don't have to have a procedure that would increase hip pain 4-6 weeks and likely a little more before it heals. That's kind of my last option. Therapy has not been a way of getting rid of injury, but rather keeping them at bay; it's tricky to find a good therapist but a good one is like gold.

Deb I agree. Sometimes you need to find a PT that works well for you. I switched PTs and it was a good choice. I was in the same boat as you with labral tears that were fixed and bursitis in that hip. After 3 yrs of lots of PT and the Dr telling to keep working at it I decided (with some nudging) to get a 2nd opinion. Ended up with a hip replacement and getting my active life back quickly. I'm not a Dr. This is something you might want to check into. Good luck and don't give up.


Wow! Talk about a second opinion, what a difference! I had to push the doctor to get a response after he was very negative the last time. (He said it's TENDONITIS, don't call it BURSITIS, though the two doctors previous to him called it that). He recommended tenotomy with PRP. They reinjure the tendon by punturing with holes, and then taking blood that goes through a centrifuge I think and gets reinjected as plasma and forces rehealing in an area that is difficult to heal. He left the practice where I first saw him, so I opted to wait for three months to go back to that practice and see if they will do the procedure. I am also kind of procrastinating, though, because I am worried a bit as my pain will increase for 4-6 weeks (and doctors often underestimate). Doctor #1 said I can't walk on the leg three days but oh no, crutches not needed. It says otherwise online a at other practices, so that's why I waited. Thanks for sharing!! It's all good, makes me feel others are out there listening. 🙂

Ah! I'm glad you got a 2nd opinion! Bursitis & tendon pain on the outside of hip are two names that have sort of become interchangeable - but it's headed towards less of a "bursitis" per se. Bear with us - research is continuously evolving! I've definitely seen success with conservative and PRP for this. Keep me posted! Feel free to private message me if you ever have questions along the way for the rehab process 🙂