Aspirus Medical Monday: The benefits of physical therapy


UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – Derek Bustos, DPT, Physical Therapist at Aspirus Health says the goal of physical therapy is to help alleviate discomfort and help people get back moving.

“So physical therapy basically what we do is work on restoring function and function could be anything from having difficulty getting in and out of a chair, to a major league pitcher wanting to improve, improve his follow-through or dealing with just some minor impairments and injury in that regards,” said Bustos. “The benefits are basically getting you back to doing what you wanna do and finding joy in those activities.”

Physical therapy is important for people who are injured or preparing and recovering from surgeries.

“Physical therapy is a big realm of course I’m biased but I think we could all benefit from some form of activity but the bigger thing is the people who are obviously injured and the pre-op and the post-op patients, the post-op patients are going to be the ones that are probably going to sacrifice the most if we don’t get them in early enough there could be issues with joint tightening and then of course weakness or abnormalities in their gait or their function later on post-operatively,” said Bustos.

There are several different kinds of physical therapy according to Bustos which all use different activities.

“There’s physical therapy for neurological conditions which would be your stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury; and then there’s orthopedics typically what I do on a daily basis which is your bone and joints, and then it ranges from pelvic health dealing with various forms of incontinence in male and female, there’s oncology, there’s vertigo for balance disorders, sports therapy, there’s a wide range of applications we can use therapy for in general,” said Bustos.

Some things can be done at home but Bustos says it’s best to make a plan with a Physical Therapist before doing any physical therapy yourself.

“There’s a lot of information out there and I’d be cautious on what you see because all of it is not evidence-based, there’s a lot of websites you can visit which are written by physical therapists and do offer some good information,” said Bustos. “I think the best option would be to come in and actually see a physical therapist if it’s something that you would like to perform at home we could perform an evaluation and then get you set up with an appropriate exercise program kind of tailored to your issue.”

Bustos says they also do some telehealth at Aspirus but physical therapy is a hands-on profession so getting into the clinic for an evaluation and structuring a good program is the best approach.

“A lot of times people are fearful to come in, especially the post-operative patients because one their in pain and they’ve heard it can be painful from maybe possibly their surgeon or a family member or friend that’s gone through it but our goal is not to provide discomfort our goal is to alleviate the discomfort,” said Bustos. “It shouldn’t be painful, the goal is to get you back to moving and get you back to finding joy with your everyday activities.”

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