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8 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist (Besides Injuries & Accidents)

8 Reasons to See a Physical Therapist (Besides Injuries & Accidents)

Who needs physical therapy? You might think of an accident victim with whiplash or a college athlete with an ACL tear. But physical therapy handles much more than traumatic injuries. They help people with vertigo control their dizziness. They help new mothers return to normalcy after giving birth. They help cancer patients manage lymphatic swelling. 

Physical Therapist Dr. Blake Cope shares eight groups of people who can benefit from seeing a physical therapist (PT). Keep in mind: You do not need a referral to see a PT in Utah, meaning you can contact us anytime to schedule a visit and start your path to recovery. 

Demographics Who Can Benefit from Physical Therapy 

“Everyone from newborns to 100 year olds come to physical therapy and for a number of reasons under the sun,” says Dr. Blake Cope. "We are experts in movement and the musculoskeletal system. We gauge how the muscles are working together, assess any imbalances, and help to improve strength, stability, and range of motion."

An elderly woman receiving physical therapy for age-related symptoms

Getting around the house is scary for some people--so scary that they may become homebound due to their own fear. Decreased mobility and anxiety about falling are legitimate concerns for this population. PTs help the elderly gain balance, strength, and mobility to perform everyday tasks with confidence.

A child raising his arm while receiving physical therapy

There are pediatric-specialized PTs who work with children who may be late hitting their developmental milestones or newborns with issues such as torticollis (twisting of the head or neck).

Image of a physical therapist providing lymphedema therapy for a cancer patient.

Some physical therapists work with people with lymphedema: Excess swelling of the limbs caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system. Lymphedema often happens in women who’ve had breast cancer. View Ogden Clinic’s lymphedema specialist.

Photo of a pregnant woman's growing belly

There are PTs who specialize in pelvic health and can vastly improve pain and outcomes for women who have given birth naturally or via C-section. This is called pelvic floor therapy and it involves strengthening the muscles/ligaments in the bladder, bowel, uterus, and rectum. View Ogden Clinic’s pelvic floor therapy specialist.

Man struggling with vertigo, or BBPV consulting a physical therapist

Vertigo is a feeling that the environment is spinning caused by an inner ear imbalance. A physical therapist can provide treatment which includes specialized head and neck movements to correct fluid imbalances. The also educate patients on techniques they can do at home in the event of dizzy spells or vertigo.

An addiction recoveree receives physical therapy to restore his strength and energy.

People often turn to illicit drugs or alcohol to manage pain in the first place. Once addicted, it’s common to develop a weakened immune system, decreased physical strength, decreased coordination, chronic pain, and other problems. Physical therapists work alongside substance abuse recoverees to revitalize energy, restore lost strength and flexibility, and improve overall state-of-mind.

"I really enjoy this side of physical therapy," says Dr. Cope. "In rehabilitation programs, there are three pillars of health: Mental, emotional, and physical. The physical side of rehabilitation is often underrepresented, so I enjoy helping patients get their energy and strength back."

Photo of a physical therapist assessing brain scans of a concussed patient

Physical therapy offers big benefits to people who’ve sustained a concussion. “I like to work not only on physical rehabilitation with concussed patients, but on their mental health as well,” says Dr. Cope. “I'll often include math and mental-stimulating activities into a treatment plan to assess confusion and help patients regain mental sharpness.”

Man performing banded exercise to prepare for surgery, or prehabilitation

Physical therapy is not just for recovery. Those who are planning to have surgery can use physical therapy beforehand to assess deficits in strength, stability, range of motion, and balance that may impede your ability to recover. This is called “prehabilitation”. We often see a reduced number of post-operative treatment sessions and overall cost of care when prehab is added.


“There’s an old saying I sometimes hear: ‘PT stands for physical torture’,” says Dr. Cope. “Oftentimes it’s quite the opposite! We want to reduce pain as much as possible long-term.” He reiterates that physical therapy strives to improve most health conditions that cause pain, numbness in the limbs, decreased balance, strength, or mobility. “Everything from getting around your house comfortably to beating your running PR—that’s what we do.”

Blake Cope is a Doctor of Physical Therapy practicing at Ogden Clinic Canyon View in Ogden. You do not need a doctor’s referral to see a PT in Utah, so you can schedule an assessment anytime online or over the phone.