Why Are Physical Therapists Everywhere?
The following is pure opinion on my part and maybe doesn’t belong on a financial website but I have had these thoughts for a couple years and instead of writing a book thought that I’d write down my thoughts to get feedback just to see if my idea are either irrational or just a residue from all the college nights out that are finally taking a horrid toll on me.
6-7 years ago an old friend of mine from high school fell down some basement stairs and broke her wrist. 4-5 years ago my ex wife tripped down some stairs at a church (bless her!) and broke his wrist and ankle. Tough go for her but being the good ex husband I helped her around for a couple months. Then about the same time my older sister fell down and broke her wrist. Not to be outdone my twenty eight year old daughter did something silly and snapped her ankle.
What is the common thread here other that some oversight and maybe clumsiness is the fact that surgery was determined to be the best solution for each of them. And then from surgery was of course a recommendation for physical therapy.
Now lets take a step back in time. I had my leg broken junior year of high school. It was very painful and they dragged me to a car (thanks John Heller!) and drove me to the hospital. Once there the doctor came in, gave me news I already had guessed and I knew within an hour or two my leg would have a cast on it and I would learn how to use crutches for six weeks (cast on from 9/5/69 to 10/17/69-but this wasn’t a painful memory for me!) . The real interesting part is the doctor walked in the room and asked me to sit up and dangle my broken leg over the side of the bed. He said he was going to “set” my leg which I had not idea what he was about to do. What he did was put his hands in the area where the bone was broken and snapped the bone into place. And yes it was incredibly painful.
No surgery and 5 weeks and 5 days later the cast came off. The only physical therapy I did was move my toes on the broke leg 500 times a night (doctor told me to do that) while I laid in bed at night.
So why does surgery rule the medical world today and not 50 years ago when I was carted in the hospital? And why after surgery does everyone head over to therapy?
There are some obvious reasons like better surgical procedures nowadays but that doesn’t answer why everyone is sent to PT place right away. I didn’t need PT back then. I actually went out and played a bit in a football game after just 2 ½ weeks. Who needs therapy?
So why do people get hurt all the time which requires surgery/therapy rather than just a bone reset and a cast? Being overweight and eating unhealthy food has a place of blame here. I don’t remember seeing any of my parents friends or classmates parents 100 pounds overweight. How has that happened in 50 short years you may ask? The answer is McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys etc. Those places were just getting started back in the 60’s. Americans being overweight started happening about then. Unhealthy Americans become ripe for medications (diabetes)and mishaps that include falling and breaking body parts.
So the title of this article is about why physical therapy places are all over the country. When did the first doctor say “ hey, maybe you should go to a physical therapist”. I’m pretty sure that doctors started the PT craze. Makes perfect sense. Everyone is marketing nowadays. You go into to get your teeth cleaned and the dentists is looking at every nook and cranny in your mouth for further action whether you need it or not.
Not everyone follows me when I tell this story but here is a formula:
Fast food = obesity = physical mishaps/medications=surgery = physical therapy
So without McDonalds a company like Athletico probably wouldn’t be around today. At least in its current form.
So when your mother tells you to eat healthy foods you better do it!
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