Who is my Physical Therapist?
Physical Therapy isn’t a place to just get a “massage” and do “some silly exercises that ‘I can do at home so I’m just not going to go today’”. Physical Therapy is so much more. . . .
Your DPT (doctor of physical therapy) should be accounting for physical AND mental barriers, addressing lifestyle changes, and not only looking at the body part that is troubling you, but instead the entire body. Your DPT should be looking at not just what your symptoms are, but what CAUSED them to begin with, in order to help empower you to create an everlasting change. . . .
Your DPT has to go through extensive education to receive and maintain their license. They're not only the best at assessing your movement, body mechanics, and musculoskeletal system, they also have to understand how all systems affect the human body, and how to diagnose pathology that isn't under their scope of practice as well. This allows you to go see a DPT first when you are experiencing pain. They will determine if the pain you are experiencing can be attributed to the musculoskeletal system, or another system that may require a referral to a specialist.
Now, why would you do this instead of seeing your PCP/GP if your neck hurts?
Answer: It saves you and the healthcare system money AND you will see quicker results
Example: My neck hurts, so I go to my GP ($) who sends me to an orthopedist ($) who orders an X-ray ($) who then prescribes me pain medication ($). I don't feel better so I go back to the orthopedist ($) who then refers me to physical therapy ($) and THEN I start to feel better.
Example: My neck hurts, so I go to my physical therapy ($) and I start to feel better!
Instructing patients how to perform each exercise to my expectations (and your PT should be correcting and critiquing your form constantly) is only a fraction of my day, because this is only a fraction of your health! Working. Commuting. Eating. SITTING. This is where you spend most of your time. Add stress, poor nutrition, not enough sleep, and your body awareness/positioning during these activities into the mix. . . .
Find yourself a DPT who will acknowledge and try to address these and many other factors that can be affecting your health. Even if they cannot directly help you with one aspect of your health, they will direct you to someone who can, so that we can all WORK TOGETHER to move towards a better you! . . .
Remember: Help others, always.