When considering the world of physical therapy (PT), many think it is a solution primarily for athletes or those recovering from surgeries or significant injuries. However, this perception barely scratches the surface. Preventative Physical Therapy is essential for people of all walks of life and can be an alternative to medications for specific conditions.





man bending over to rub hurt calf.




Preventative Physical Therapy can lower patient treatment costs by 72%. (TheGoodBody.Com)





What is Preventative Physical Therapy, and how can it improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle? This blog will introduce you to the therapy and provide eight benefits.





What is Preventative Physical Therapy?





PT, a branch of rehabilitative healthcare, employs trained professionals who use specialized equipment and tailored exercise regimes to address abnormal physical functions. These professionals can guide patients in maximizing mobility, managing pain, dealing with chronic conditions, avoiding surgeries, and heavy reliance on prescription drugs.





Preventative physical therapy distinguishes itself as a proactive approach. This strategy involves offering patients techniques and exercises to prevent injuries and discomfort. Preventative PT ensures these issues don't escalate into more significant complications by strengthening the body, enhancing mobility, and detecting potential problem areas.





Golfer with low back pain




Often, the Mckenzie Method of physical therapy is considered preventative physical therapy. The Therapy Network has McKenzie Method licensed providers and incorporates the method's four steps into a comprehensive therapy plan.





The Multifaceted Benefits of Preventative Physical Therapy





We now have your attention with the prospect of lowering your medical costs. But what are some of the direct benefits of Preventative Physical Therapy? Here are eight benefits that can help every patient:






  1. Pain Management: Through therapeutic exercises, pain can be significantly reduced or managed, decreasing the risk of its return.






  • Reduced Dependence on Drugs: Managing or diminishing pain can lessen the need for specific medications, such as opioids.






  • Avoidance of Surgery: In cases where PT addresses pain or injury effectively, surgeries may become unnecessary.






  • Improved Mobility: Age is just a number! PT exercises can rejuvenate movement capabilities for individuals across all age groups.






  • Injury Prevention: Knowledgeable physical therapists can craft prevention exercises tailored to high-risk activities, ensuring maximum safety.






  • Fall Prevention: Improve balance and prevent potential falls with specific PT exercises.






  • Managing Age-Related Issues: Treat conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis through PT techniques.






  • Cardiac and Pulmonary Health: PT can significantly improve the quality of life for those with heart and lung-related conditions.





Is investing time in Preventative Physical Therapy worth it? For many, the answer is a resounding yes, especially considering the long-term benefits and the potential to avoid painful, costly, and debilitating health issues.





Preventative Physical Therapy at The Therapy Network





COASTAL VIRGINIA'S LEADER IN SPECIALTY PHYSICAL THERAPY





The Therapy Network has been a beacon of physical therapy excellence in Hampton Roads, Virginia, for over three decades. Established in 1987, it has continuously revolutionized PT in the region with a patient-centric approach. Our dedicated clinics across Hampton Roads provide flexible hours, catering to the bustling schedules of our patrons. With services available from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., we strive to accommodate all.





For those seeking our expert services, TheTherapyNetwork.com provides all the necessary details. Remarkably, a physician's referral isn't mandatory to initiate your physical therapy plan with us, thanks to Direct Access. Direct Access in Virginia enables individuals to start a therapeutic journey overseen by our licensed professionals immediately.





What sets The Therapy Network apart is our commitment to excellence and specialization. Each of our clinics proudly hosts therapists trained in Preventative Physical Therapy. We are continuously pushing boundaries to offer top-tier care for our valued patients. Schedule an appointment today.



Preventing Falls in Adults with Dizziness: How Therapy Network Physical Therapy Can Help





Dizziness is a common complaint among adults, and various underlying conditions, including vestibular disorders, can cause it. While dizziness can be troublesome, it often leads to another severe concern—falling. However, a recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery sheds light on a promising avenue for reducing the risk of falls among individuals with dizziness: timely physical therapy (PT) intervention. In this updated blog post, we'll explore how Therapy Network Physical Therapy can play a vital role in helping adults prevent falls.





dizzy fallen elderly woman being helped up by two women




The Study: Unraveling the Link Between Dizziness and Falls
Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a cross-sectional study involving 805,454 patients aged 18 years or older who received a new diagnosis of symptomatic dizziness or vestibular disorders. Their goal was to investigate the association between receiving physical therapy and subsequent falls requiring medical care within 12 months of the initial diagnosis.





Key Findings: The Power of Timely PT





The study's findings were both enlightening and encouraging. Here are some of the key takeaways:






  1. Reduced Risk of Falls: Patients who received physical therapy within three months of their initial dizziness diagnosis experienced a significantly reduced risk of falling. The most significant risk reduction occurred within the first three months after PT.




  2. Low PT Utilization: Surprisingly, only 6 percent of the patients in the study received PT within three months of their dizziness diagnosis. This suggests that PT is an underutilized resource in managing dizziness-related falls.




  3. Demographic Differences: The study also identified demographic differences in PT utilization. Women, patients aged 50 to 59, and those with more comorbidities were less likely to receive PT. This highlights the importance of equitable access to PT services.





Therapy Network Physical Therapy: A Key Player in Fall Prevention





Now, let's delve into how Therapy Network Physical Therapy can make a significant impact on preventing falls in adults with dizziness:






  1. Expertise in Vestibular Rehabilitation: Therapy Network Physical Therapy is staffed with skilled physical therapists specializing in vestibular rehabilitation. They have the knowledge and experience to assess and treat individuals with dizziness effectively.




  2. Individualized Treatment Plans: Each patient is unique, and Therapy Network Physical Therapy understands this. They create personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual's specific needs and goals, ensuring that the therapy addresses the root causes of dizziness and balance issues.




  3. Balance and Coordination Training: Physical therapists at Therapy Network are experts in improving balance and coordination. Targeted exercises and therapies can help individuals regain their stability and reduce the risk of falls.




  4. Education and Prevention: Beyond treatment, Therapy Network Physical Therapy focuses on educating patients about fall prevention strategies they can incorporate into their daily lives. This empowerment empowers individuals to take an active role in their own safety.





woman looking a dizzy person fallen at bottom of stairs




If you would like to learn more about Dizziness, Falls and Balance, and more, you can check out the links below:









Conclusion: A Step Toward Preventing Falls with Therapy Network Physical Therapy





Dizziness can be debilitating and, if left untreated, can lead to severe consequences such as falls. However, this study provides hope by demonstrating that timely physical therapy interventions can significantly reduce the risk of falling among individuals with dizziness. By seeking the expertise of Therapy Network Physical Therapy and integrating timely PT into managing dizziness, we can enhance the quality of life for countless individuals and prevent potentially life-altering falls. Together, we can progress towards a safer, healthier future for adults with dizziness.


kayaks, beach, pickle ball, yoga on beach

Living in the scenic coastal areas of Virginia provides many opportunities to engage in outdoor activities like pickleball, kayaking, beach walks, and golf. But what if physical limitations are keeping you from thoroughly enjoying these hobbies? This is where physical therapy can make all the difference. Physical therapy promotes an active lifestyle, and blogs by the Therapy Network team that provide physical therapy tips for outdoor hobbies are always popular. In this blog, we combined some of our top tips for hobbies enjoyed in the Hampton Roads region.





Physical Therapy Promotes Daily Lifestyle & Hobby Enjoyment





We often take our physical abilities for granted until they are compromised. Struggles with mobility, balance, or strength can hinder us from enjoying our favorite activities. But with physical therapy, you can improve these aspects and return to your active lifestyle more quickly than expected.





Man running on beach




Did You Know you do NOT need a physician's referral to start your physical therapy journey? Thanks to Virginia's Direct Access law, you can directly consult with our licensed physical therapists at The Therapy Network. Keep reading for information and a link to book your first appointment. 





Whether you enjoy pickleball, kayaking, golf, or just walking on the beach…Physical therapy promotes an active lifestyle, and The Therapy Network is here to provide services and tips.





5 Ways to Improve Your Pickleball Game with Physical Therapy 





Pickleball is increasingly popular, but like any sport, it comes with the risk of injury. Physical Therapy promotes an active lifestyle by rehabilitating you post-injury and helping you prevent future injuries. Here are some ways physical therapy can boost your pickleball game:









1. Injury Prevention: Therapists can identify weaknesses that might lead you to common pickleball injuries.





2. Strength and Conditioning: Target specific muscle groups used in pickleball to improve your game.





3. Flexibility and Range of Motion: Therapists will recommend exercises to keep your joints agile.





4. Balance and Coordination: Improve your footwork and reaction time on the court.





5. Injury Management: If you're already recovering from an injury, tailored physical therapy can speed up your recovery.





Visit our free information library and read about physical therapy's benefits for pickleball players.





Walking on the Beach in Coastal Virginia 





There's no better feeling than walking along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk or the soft sands of a secluded beach. Physical Therapy promotes an active lifestyle that makes this simple joy accessible. Follow these tips when embarking on a beach walk:





1. Start Slow: Sandy terrains are challenging. Start with short distances.





2. Wear Appropriate Footwear: Opt for sturdy sandals or shoes that offer support.





3. Walk at Low Tide: It's easier and better for your body alignment.





"The benefits of walking are numerous, but they're best-enjoyed pain-free. Physical therapy can help ensure that you can walk as far and as long as you want, whenever you want.”—American Physical Therapy Association.  





If walking on the beach becomes painful, The Therapy Network can help diagnose the issue and offer a solution. Read our full blog, “When Walking on the Beach is Painful.”









Before teeing off in any scenic golf courses across Norfolk, Virginia Beach, or Chesapeake, consider how physical therapy can help improve your game and reduce your pain.





golfer with back pain




1. Injury Evaluation and Treatment: Therapists can pinpoint the causes of your discomfort and create a treatment plan.





2. Pre-Golf Warm-Up: Learn about essential stretches and exercises.





3. Muscle and Mobility: Improve your swing and reduce the chance of injuries.





4. Injury Prevention Plan: A preventive approach can save you from long-term issues.





If you are a golfer, consider reading our blog with additional tips. Book your session at The Therapy Network to help you get the most out of your golf rounds.





Enjoy Kayaking in Coastal Virginia with the Help of Physical Therapy





Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the waters of coastal Virginia, but preparing your body for the rigorous paddling is crucial.





Kayaking In Virginia Beach, VA
Kayaking in Virginia Beach, VA




1. Shoulder Strength: Enhance the muscle strength needed for effective paddling.





2. Elbow and Wrist Care: Physical therapy can prevent overuse injuries.





3. Muscle Imbalance: Target stabilizing muscles to avoid injury.





4. Core Fitness: A strong core is essential for kayaking.





If you enjoy paddle sports, read our latest blog about the benefits of physical therapy for kayakers. (Need link to latest blog here)





How Can The Therapy Network Help?





Physical Therapy promotes an active lifestyle that keeps you in shape and prevents injuries, ensuring you can continue enjoying all the outdoor activities that coastal Virginia offers. You do not need a physician's referral to start your journey to recovery or fitness. One is near your home or workplace, with six locations in the Hampton Roads area. 





Book an appointment today and continue enjoying all your favorite hobbies in Virginia. 



We all want the best for our teens—especially as they embark on another exciting school year in Hampton Roads, Virginia. However, sometimes the tools meant to support their learning, like backpacks, can lead to unexpected pain.





This blog will look at overloaded school backpacks and the pain that might affect your teen-aged child. We will also explore ways to address this issue, including how to shop for a new school backpack.





The Strain of the Backpack





By design, the back will compensate for any load applied to it. Picture this: A teen, excited for their day in a Virginia Beach school, slings on their backpack, not realizing that the weight is slowly harming their back. Picture your teen's backpack - X-Box Controllers, water bottles, computers, extra batteries, and more. This isn't a one-time event. This chronic routine may cause them to experience back pain throughout their school years, including college.





backpain pain student




What are the effects of an overloaded backpack? From a physical therapy view, here is a list of impacts:






  • Exert undue pressure on the lower back, potentially leading to disc compression.




  • Distort the natural curves in the middle and lower backs, causing muscle strain and irritation to spine joints and the rib cage.




  • Cause lumbar asymmetry or curvature in the lower back.




  • Lead to rounded shoulders, which in turn affects posture.




  • Pull on the neck muscles, giving rise to headache, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and neck and arm pain.




  • Make someone lean forward, hampering balance and raising the risk of falls.





Preventative Tips: Backpacks and Pain





Backpacks and back pain don’t have to be lifelong partners! Back-to-School is the perfect time to review some tips with your kids. (These tips are also helpful for adults that regularly use a backpack during their commute to work or for hobbies and adventures.)





Some precautionary steps include:






  • Use both shoulder straps for balance.




  • Opt for lightweight, padded backpacks.




  • If available, pick backpacks with wheels.




  • Make use of lockers to reduce carrying weight.




  • Regularly empty backpacks of unnecessary items.




  • Limit backpack weight to 15% of a child's body weight.





Shopping for the Perfect School Backpack





Shopping for a new school backpack is exciting—no matter the student's age. But choosing a backpack isn’t just about colors or trendy designs; it’s about ensuring it supports your teen's health. You have read about the link between school backpacks and pain. Now, here are some tips from the Therapy Network staff to keep in mind when shopping for a new backpack:






  • Opt for backpacks with wide, padded straps.




  • Seek multiple sections for even weight distribution.




  • Consider waist belts to help distribute weight.




  • Reflective material is a plus for children commuting during low light.




  • Aim for a lightweight design.





Physical Therapy: The Solution to Backpack-Induced Pain





If your teen in Hampton Roads feels the aftermath of a heavy backpack, physical therapy is the way forward. It alleviates pain and strengthens muscles, ensuring future resilience against injuries. School backpack-induced pain should not be ignored.






“A great way to prevent back injury is to strengthen the stabilizing muscles of your torso, including your lower back and abdominal muscles.”—KidsHealth.org






Enter The Therapy Network…





When the talk comes to expert physical therapy, look no further than The Therapy Network. With six accessible offices throughout Coastal Virginia, including Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, and Chesapeake, we are always within reach. What makes us even more special? No need for a physician's referral to start your teen's healing journey with us! We prioritize convenience with immediate appointment availability.





In conclusion, while backpacks are a school staple, ensuring the correct use is vital. As we've learned, overloaded backpacks can be the villain behind back and shoulder pain. But with the right backpack and the expert care from The Therapy Network, we can ensure our teens and children are pain-free and ready to conquer the world!





If your teen is experiencing back or shoulder pain, don’t wait. Visit one of our six locations in Coastal Virginia today. The health of our future, our children, rests in the balance. School backpack-induced pain may not resolve on its own.





And remember, at The Therapy Network, a healthier future is just an appointment away!


Top view colored umbrellas on beach

If there’s one thing we cherish in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake, it's our sunny and fun coastal environment. It provides a natural playground for an active lifestyle. However, as we enjoy the great outdoors, it's essential to remain mindful of the health implications of exposure to the hot summer sun in Virginia. In this blog, you will find sun safety tips for this summer—or any season.





Physical therapy provides a powerful tool for supporting your body. It helps you heal, maintain strength and stay limber. The key to successful treatment isn't just diligent attendance at sessions at The Therapy Network—it's also incorporating the principles learned at our centers into your everyday life.





Outdoor activity promotes healthier living while building resistance against injury. But how do we balance this with being sun-smart?





1. Striking a Balance with Sun Safety:  The Dawn and Dusk Advantage





One sun safety tip is moving in the morning and evening when the Virginia sun is less intense.





An early morning walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk or a sunset yoga session in First Landing State Park can be excellent options. Not only will you avoid the peak sun exposure and the associated risks, but you'll also find these times of day provide a less-crowded or tranquil atmosphere.





Virginia Beach BoardWalk
Virginia Beach Boardwalk




Another sun safety tip is to choose the correct location. The location can further limit your sun exposure. Look for shady areas for your outdoor activities, such as in the shade in Red Wing Park, or consider taking advantage of the water. Aquatic exercises in a pool are an effective way to exercise while staying cool and a great sun safety tip.





2. Dressing for Sun Safety: UPF Rated Clothing





Did you know there's more to sun protection than slathering on sunscreen?





Remember also to keep your clothing light. Not only in color—light colors reflect the sun's rays more efficiently—but also in weight. The lighter the clothing, the less heat it retains, aiding your body’s natural cooling mechanisms.





Use UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) rated sun-protective clothing. These garments are designed to block a significant amount of harmful UV radiation, providing a physical barrier between your skin and the sun.





3. The Secret Weapon: Sunscreen





A blog about sun safety tips would only be complete with a discussion on sunscreen. While clothing can protect covered areas, exposed skin is still vulnerable. This is where sunscreen protection steps in. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more before you venture into the Virginia Beach region. Remember to reapply at least every two hours.





Wearing sunscreen is one of the best — and easiest — ways to protect your skin’s appearance and health at any age. Used regularly, sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. (Hopkins Medicine on Sunscreen)





Making sunscreen a staple in your outdoor routine in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk is an easy yet effective step towards being sun-smart.





4. Quenching Thirst: Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy





An active lifestyle, particularly in the hot summer sun, demands hydration. But be smart about Sun Safety and what and how much you drink. Water remains your best pick, providing pure hydration without any additives.





Sports drinks can be helpful during intense exercise. You should be wary of those high in sugar, though. Remember, your drink choice should be replenishing your body, not working against a healthy lifestyle.





How Much Water Do You Need To Be Sun Safe? Calculate below:






Water Intake Calculator







5. Embrace the Water: Diving into Summer Activities





Here is a sun safety tip that is unique to our coastal community. Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities for water sports. Whether kayaking in Back Bay, surfing, or paddleboarding along the Chesapeake Bay, these activities provide a refreshing way to stay active while keeping cool in the summer heat.





6. Know Your Limits: Sensible Sun Safety and Heat Exposure





Lastly, remember to listen to your body. An active lifestyle and physical therapy aim to enhance your well-being. A sun safety tip is not to push your limits excessively.





If the Virginia sun is particularly fierce or you feel fatigued, seek shelter and cool down.





Healthy Outdoor Activities





Healthy outdoor activities under the Virginia sun can be a cornerstone of your physical therapy journey and broader lifestyle. By being sun-smart and following the six sun safety tips from the team at The Therapy Network, you can safely enjoy the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle.
In Hampton Roads, we can have everything: the sun, the sea, the physical strength to exercise, and safety. Let's make the most of it.





family paddle board sun safety
Enjoying a day in the sun




For an outdoor, active lifestyle, you may also enjoy reading blogs from our library. Here is just a selection of blogs that cover outdoor activities:





Can Physical Therapy Help Your Pickleball Game?





Exercise at the Beach-5 Fun Ways





Walk Your Way to Health





Physical Therapy for Runners





When Walking on the Beach is Painful





Can Physical Therapy Improve Your Golf Game?