According to the U.S. Department of Labor, work injuries occur more often during the summer months than at other times of year. And according to a recent study by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, sports injuries happen most frequently during the warmest months.


But you probably didn’t need these institutions to tell you something you could have intuited easily enough. People move around more when it’s nice outside – and the more people move, the higher their risk of injuries.


Maybe you are a farmer who has fallen victim to a tumble, tractor overturn, animal kick, or other injury that is all too common in your all-important occupation. Maybe you are a contractor, and are now experiencing pain and restricted movement due to any of the many perils that threaten people in your industry. Maybe you are an athlete whose training regimen has caused a nasty musculoskeletal injury. Or maybe you’re none of the above, but have still managed to hurt yourself while walking, gardening, or doing housework during the nicest time of year in Sioux Falls.


No matter the source of your injury, physical therapy can help you get back on track. Here’s how!


Reduce Pain


Nearly 10 million Americans currently abuse prescription painkillers. Opioid addiction can happen to anyone, but everyone who experiences it shares one thing in common: they all started taking opioids for one reason or another.


Physical therapy can reduce – or totally eliminate – the need for potentially addictive drugs. That’s because regular exercise (which is an inseparable part of physical therapy) can improve pain tolerance by increasing levels of endorphins within the bloodstream. These are your body’s own natural opioids, which reduce stress in addition to decreasing the sensation of pain. Exercise can also raise your body’s levels of endocannabinoids: naturally occurring neurotransmitters that function similarly to THC, and which control pain modulation and stimulate the production of dopamine.


Avoid Surgery


If you’d like to do everything in your power to avoid needing surgery, then you’re not alone. About 40% of Americans report skipping a medical test or treatment because it is just too expensive. But even if cost weren’t a factor, you would still rather not go under the knife.


Many people receive physical therapy to help accelerate their recovery from surgery. Many others choose physical therapy because it can help them avoid surgery altogether. According to the University of Miami, physical therapy can help people recover from rotator cuff and meniscal tears without the need for surgery. Physical therapy can also treat carpal tunnel syndrome, herniated disc, plantar fasciitis, and several other injuries that are commonly treated through surgery.


Restore Function


You don’t just want to avoid discomfort and surgery following an injury. You want to regain full use of your body – and therein lies the chief benefit of physical therapy. It gives people back their strength and mobility!


Any physical therapy regimen includes several exercises and stretches that are specifically selected to restore the patient’s strength, flexibility, and range of motion. A physical therapist is intimately familiar with all the muscles in the human body, and develops a program that rebuilds whichever muscles directly affect the injured area. For example, if you are suffering from a ruptured disc, your physical therapist will help you build up the core and back muscles you need to reduce pressure on your spinal column. And if you have injured your rotator cuff, your physical therapist will help you regain your full range of motion by prescribing exercises which strengthen the muscles in your shoulder and upper spine.


Physical therapy won’t just treat the injury you seek relief from, either. It can also significantly reduce your risk of experiencing the same injury again.


If you have injured yourself this summer – for any reason – then the effective, drug-free, and nonsurgical treatment awaits at Acucare Physical Therapy. We encourage you to contact our clinic in Sioux Falls, SD today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced physical therapists!