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Physical Therapists and Dentists Both Deserve a Prominent Spot on Your Calendar

Keeping your teeth healthy is important, in fact, the American Dental Association recommends regular dental visits to maintain optimal oral health. Our parents, school nurses and pediatricians have reinforced the importance of dental health from a young age, but what about our musculoskeletal systems? Isn’t it time we considered the benefits of inking annual appointments with a specialist who focuses her attention on your bones, joints and muscles?

The fact is that apart from an injury or other ailment needing immediate attention for four to six weeks, physical therapy doesn’t play a prominent role in most people’s regular healthcare routine. Members of the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association are hoping to change that. What if Americans thought of their physical therapists when making their annual and semi-annual rounds to dentists, primary care physicians and specialty physicians such as dermatologists?

It’s true that physical therapists are highly skilled in methods that improve mobility and reduce pain following an injury, but they can also play a key role in the patient’s health once therapy has ended. In fact, the standard practice of care recommends that patients schedule a follow-up visit on an annual basis, at a minimum. Physical therapists are trained to teach patients how to incorporate exercises and lifestyle changes that prevent re-injury and improve overall health and well-being.