Take Control of Your Health

Picture of Author: Ruben Salinas, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Author: Ruben Salinas, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

Ruben Salinas is the founder and president of Salinas PT.

When was the last time you had your musculoskeletal system examined? Do you have aches and pains that you’ve just decided to live with?

Society has conditioned us to see the dentist regularly, along with annual physical and eye exams. Unfortunately, most people never think twice about having a yearly exam with a doctor of physical therapy.

After 30, the average adult loses muscle mass at a rate of 3-8% per decade, and that rate increases after 60. This involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength, and function often contribute to disability in seniors.

Aside from your teeth, eyes, and bloodwork, how does the rest of your body feel? Do you have aches and pains? Is hauling groceries inside more difficult than it used to be? Annual musculoskeletal exams with a physical therapist can often catch issues and provide solutions before they become problems. It’s time to take control of your health and improve your quality of life.

Graph showing muscle mass loss due to age

Source: Research Gate

Typical Annual PT Exam Includes:

    1.  A thorough history of your health and previous injuries
    2. Assessment of your strength, flexibility, and joint function
    3. Body mass index
    4. Resting HR and Blood Pressure
    5. Balance Tests if necessary
    6. A review of your goals
    7. An update on your exercise program

How Important is Moving Well?

Strong evidence suggests that movement is a valuable predictor of future health and resilience against disease. Moving well can keep you healthier and help you live longer. Here are some examples of the power of movement when it comes to predicting your future health.

Measured in meters per second (m/s). Source: NIH

Gait Velocity

Gait velocity is how fast you can walk. If your typical walking speed is over 1m/s or 3.3 ft/s, you can likely complete routine daily activities independently. You are also less likely to be hospitalized and less likely to have adverse events like falls.

Getting On and Off the Floor

A series of studies suggest that if you can go from standing to sitting on the floor, and back to standing without using your hands, you’re much less likely to suffer from serious illness than someone who can’t. It’s called the sitting-rising test.

Final Words

Notice that both gait velocity, along with the sitting-rising test aren’t specific to any one disease or condition. The risk of hospitalization in the gait velocity studies included hospitalization for any reason. Death in the sitting-rising studies included death from anything. Science says that moving well is incredibly important to your overall health. It’s also important to your quality of life.

Since moving well is just as important as your teeth, eyes, and overall quality of life, it’s important to take it seriously. If you or someone you know can benefit from an annual PT exam, our team can help.

In good health, 

-Salinas PT Team