Ever since I switched over into the fitness industry I learned that most people are pretty messed up. It’s astonishing really how many people are in pain, move poorly, or both. Typically following an injury, people do a great job seeing a doctor, progressing through PT, and then they are discharged back into the world hoping that they can jump right into what they were doing before. Unfortunately, I am seeing a bigger divide from where they are to where they want to be. This increases their chance of re-injury and leaves people feeling confused as to why they aren’t doing what they love.
Nowadays, our healthcare system is changing rapidly and it isn’t always in the favor of the patient. Certain procedures and imaging are covered by insurance, PT is being discontinued before people are ready, and providers aren’t making as much for there services as they should. This ultimately leaves the patient at a disservice because they are not getting the top quality care they deserve. In cases like these when patients have been discharged from PT, and released into this scary, fast moving world, it is essential to find someone who has their best interest in mind in terms of their health & wellness.
The next step is finding that right person, which can be even more difficult. The fitness industry is full of weekend certifications from corrective exercise specialists to cancer exercise specialists to fitness nutrition specialists. In my opinion, to be called a specialist you must devote a little more time than some weekend course and pass a multiple choice exam. That is why I feel patients recently discharged from PT will benefit greatly from the knowledge and skills of Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC). An ATCs background and 4-year education prepares them for careers in the healthcare field at locations such as: sports medicine clinics, doctors offices, all levels of athletics, and industrial workplaces. But, it’s common to find a few in fitness settings such as health clubs, private personal training facilities, and sports performance centers. In addition to their education, many specialize in other orthopedic areas, such as soft-tissue manual therapy, massage, therapeutic exercise, aquatic therapy, and much more.
Athletic Trainers are trained in orthopedic evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, emergency care, corrective & prophylactic taping, and on-site athletic game/practice coverage. In essence, they speak the lingo of your Physical Therapist and can provide the most seamless continuum of care after being discharged.
If you or a friend are looking for top quality post-physical therapy fitness programming in the Nashville area, contact me for more details.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ATC