Mitch Starkman has a unique vantage point as both a physical therapist and a hemophilia patient. Looking back at childhood injuries, he wishes he would have sought out physical therapy sooner, he said in a video on the National Hemophilia Foundation’s YouTube channel. Unfortunately, he learned the hard way.
“Growing up, I had a lot more injuries than most. Being a mild hemophiliac, I never really had treatment regularly unless I had a significant injury. Because of that, I would get bumps and bruises and hobble from ankle injuries or that sort of thing, that I would brush under the rug when I shouldn’t have,” Starkman said.
Neglecting these physical issues only compounded them, eventually landing Starkman in the hospital after more serious physical trauma. Only then did he start to seek out the help of a physical therapist regularly.
Watch the full NHF video above.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Matthew Allen agrees that patients can benefit from physical therapy as soon as they experience limitations. They don’t have to wait until an injury.
“The most common examples are pain, tightness, weakness, balance deficits and decreased endurance,” he said.
Through education, exercise, stretches, hands-on manual therapy and therapeutic agents called modalities (ice, heat, electric stimulation), these experts in the human movement system help patients move, reduce or manage pain, prevent disability or even learn to move the right way in a favorite activity.
To learn more, Erica Fritz Eannucci, a physical therapist at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery, explains what to expect at a PT visit.