Fyzical Therapy - October 2020

WHEN YOU EXPERIENCE A MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURY WHY PHYSICAL THERAPY SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST RESORT

For most people, October is all about pumpkin spice, apple cider, candy, and Halloween costumes. However, October is also a noteworthy month for physical therapists because it’s National Physical Therapy Month, a time of year that celebrates and raises awareness about the benefits of physical therapy. In a world where everyone is quick to take a pill or schedule a surgery to mask their symptoms, National Physical Therapy Month is a great time to highlight why PT is one of the best methods of injury recovery. Almost any way you slice it, physical therapy is an incredibly cost-effective way to recover from a musculoskeletal injury. One study, commissioned by the Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI), found that patients who utilized physical therapy as their first means of lower back pain recovery saved nearly $1,000 when compared to the group who used injections as their first means of recovery. Those savings jumped to over $12,000 when compared to the average cost of turning to surgery as a first resort. That’s not just the case for patients with lower back pain, however. According to another study done by ATI Physical Therapy, My Health First Network, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), and Greenville Health System (GHS), 70% of patients that opted to use physical therapy as a means for spine,

shoulder, and knee pain didn’t need any additional imaging, prescription medication, or visits to their physician. The sooner you start physical therapy, the sooner you recover and the less you have to spend on health care costs. While there are still some cases where surgery and prescription medications are necessary for healing musculoskeletal injuries, more often than not, going to physical therapy first can help you heal faster and save money in the long run. So, if you’re dealing with chronic pain and don’t know how to stop it, connect with us today!

DOES VITAMIN D HELP OUR BONES AND OUR MUSCLES?

A PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN BENEFIT OF VITAMIN D

As the weather cools and the days get shorter, we can’t rely as much on the sun for our daily dose of vitamin D. The primary function of vitamin D is regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are necessary for strengthening our bones and teeth, which becomes increasingly important as we age and our bones naturally become more brittle. While these benefits of vitamin D are well documented, did you know that getting your daily dose of vitamin D can also contribute to healthier muscles? A few years ago, researchers published a study that seemed to show that vitamin D could potentially help people gain muscle mass. While the research team said their results weren’t conclusive, their findings were certainly interesting.

Vitamin D enters the body in an inactive form. It doesn’t become active until it comes in contact with the right enzymes in either the liver or the kidneys. To learn more about what factors affect this vitamin’s rate of absorption and activation in the body, researchers observed the levels of inactive vitamin D in 116 women ages 20–74. What they found was that women with higher muscle mass had lower levels of inactive vitamin D, while women with lower muscle mass had higher levels of inactive vitamin D. The conclusion researchers drew was that active vitamin D might help optimize muscle strength. While that conclusion is not ironclad, vitamin D’s other well-known benefits still make it worth getting your daily dose. It can aid weight loss, enhance mood, support cardiovascular health, boost the immune system, and strengthen bones, among many other benefits. So, its potential muscle-boosting properties are just another reason to get more vitamin D. To get more of this important vitamin in your diet, try adding salmon, mushrooms, and even canned tuna to your menu. Also, as winter approaches, it might be time to start taking a vitamin D supplement. Whether you’re 20 or 74 years old, it’s never too late to find ways to strengthen your muscles.

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