How many of you offer annual wellness screenings? How many of you would like too?
As physical therapists, many times we get so stuck on offering reactive services (after injury) that we forget how valuable we really are! Think about it, we study the human body and how to move properly. Yet, as PT's we do a poor job of describing what we do and how much value we bring.
This brings up the idea of offering annual wellness screens. After all, people visit the dentist, their doctor, and their accountant every year but don't get a check up on their bodies and they have to live in them everyday. We must get out of the thinking of PT only as reactive and start thinking about how much more we can help people. How many people say to you they start a fitness program only to get injured and have to stop? Or the desk jockey that says they used to be an athlete but now always feels stiff? These are perfect times to bring up how easy it would be to do an annual screen to prescribe suggested mobility or strengthening exercises to improve their condition and prevent future injuries.
So what do you include in an annual wellness screen? Well, there are many things you could include but remember we are movement specialists so I would make sure you include major movements such as the overhead squat, shoulder functional ER/IR , lumbar ROM, and various breakouts based on the dysfunctions. You also want to tailor the screen to the person's individual activity. If they are a runner include some single leg squatting and hip extension screens. If they are a tennis player look closely at their overhead stability and mobility. This will ensure that the person you are screening feels the value in what you are doing for them.
Remember that as PT's we offer a service and we bring value to people. Start to educate yourself on an elevator pitch and really think about some of the other services you can offer your current patients or future patients. We can do a lot more for people to help them.
Dr. Brian Schwabe, PT, DPT, SCS, COMT, CSCS
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