You have decided to increase your commitment to your overall wellness. That’s great! And you aren’t alone. One consumer study reports that 63% of Americans have adopted new and positive health routines since March of 2020.
Not sure how to take the first step toward improving your wellness? An annual wellness exam from a physical therapist is a great place to start. Physical therapists are trained to treat the musculoskeletal system, which is the system of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons that allow us to move about. Clearly, ensuring that this system is healthy is vital. If it’s not, your wellness goals could be short-circuited before you even start trying to reach them. Yet you may be wondering, “What exactly appears on a physical therapist’s annual wellness exam checklist?”
Four of the items that may appear on your physical therapist’s annual wellness exam checklist:
- Joint mobility — Your joints are places where bones and various soft tissue structures meet and work together. They’re also a big part of what allows you to move in various ways. One thing that could be holding you back from improving your wellness is poor joint mobility. Your physical therapist can test your joint mobility. They can also determine what issues are affecting your joint mobility and help you build a plan to improve it.
- Spinal mobility — Another item that’s often on a physical therapist’s annual wellness exam checklist is spinal mobility. Your spine is designed to be flexible. However, it can easily be affected by issues that cause it to become less mobile. A physical therapist can analyze your spinal mobility and determine the source(s) of decreased mobility. Then, these specialists can help you work toward addressing your mobility issues.
- Muscle flexibility — Muscle flexibility is a good predictor of overall physical wellness. Your muscles are designed to flex and contract, after all. When they have trouble doing that, it’s often due to issues that can affect other aspects of your overall wellness. That’s why muscle flexibility is a common item on wellness exam checklists.
PT experts can test the flexibility of your muscles when looking at this checklist item. They can also identify knots of scar tissue or issues like side stitches that may be reducing your flexibility. You can then partner with your physical therapist to tackle your specific flexibility issues.
- Muscle strength — Although your joints are the body parts that allow you to move about, your muscles are the parts that actually do the moving. Accomplishing these movements takes a considerable amount of strength. We’re not talking about doing movements like bench pressing 300 pounds — we’re talking about normal daily activities like walking to the mailbox. Physical therapists can check the strength of your muscles, identify ones that need to be strengthened and help you build up your strength.
Find out more about what could be on your annual wellness exam checklist at SOL PT
Eager to ensure that your annual wellness exam checklist is comprehensive and benefits you? Our SOL Physical Therapy team is ready to help you meet this goal. We can sit down with you and explain exactly what we’ll be looking at when we examine you. Our physical therapists can then check various aspects of your musculoskeletal health, and they can build you a customized plan to address any issues they find.
Contact our team today for more information about how we can help you boost your overall wellness or to schedule your initial appointment with us.