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09 Tue

Physical therapy never really ends

Physical therapy never really ends

Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI


I was reading an old New York Times article about back pain and read an interesting quote.  It was about posture control and back pain.  Ray Bingham, a board member of Oracle, saw Esther Gokhale (the posture guru of Silicon Valley) for classes to address his back pain.  He was quoted as saying her method of treatment was different than other treatment methods, “This is not an approach like physical therapy with a beginning and an end; this is a new way of being from now on.”

I found this very curious.  Does physical therapy end?  I suppose people believe it does when you stop seeing your physical therapist.  But if people think that physical therapy ends, then they’re sadly misinformed.  In my opinion, even when physical therapy ends, it doesn’t mean your journey ends.

Your body is a complex machine.  You never can leave it.  You never can trade it in.  You spend all your time in it.  Why would you think that taking care of it ends?  That’s what physical therapy is.  Our goal as physical therapists is to show you what causes your pain or dysfunction and then teach you how to fix it.  Just because you graduate from your physical therapy program and no longer go to see your physical therapist, doesn’t mean that the methods that you learned in physical therapy should stop.

Don’t discount the effect of corrective therapeutic exercise or posture correction.  So many times, I’ve run into people who have had bouts of physical therapy in the past, felt a little better, stopped going to therapy, and then became worse again because they didn’t keep up with any of the exercises.  We prescribe specific therapeutic exercises to address movement or postural dysfunctions that we find when we assess a person.  Those exercises are specific and instrumental in getting someone better.  Sometimes, a person fails at physical therapy because of a noncompliance with doing their homework.

Examples like back pain and postural correction are things that should be continued after therapy ends.  It is different way of being.  It means you’re being better at taking care of your body and being more aware of how to position it or move it.

Physical therapy never really ends.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit us.




Image courtesy of cooldesign /

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