Transitioning individuals from health care to health clubs can be an opportunity to engage potential members who may not have a history of exercising consistently.  To do so we should know a bit about what exactly Physical Therapy is and what population seeks out services from them. 

Some fun facts:

  1.  The art of Physical Therapy can be traced all the way back to philosopher Hippocrates who began using techniques in the year 435 B.C.
  2. It was recognized as a profession during World War 1 when female civilian employees of the U.S. Army were tasked with rehabilitating soldiers primarily using massage techniques and were originally called reconstruction aides and were assistants to physicians.
  3. Physical Therapy is often used with kids who suffer from conditions that limit their ability to enjoy their lives fully.  Among the conditions PT has proven to sooth children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and vertigo. 
  4. Physical therapy can treat pain in limbs that have been removed.  80% of patients who have a limb removed experience unpleasant sensations in the limb that has been amputated called “phantom pain”.
  5. The average PT clinic sees between 101-220 patients each week and is expected to grow 25% by 2029

We have found that to successfully extend the continuum of care and create impactful pathways of transition for patients, the process should begin as soon as the patient engages in therapy services.  If this connection begins at the end of the therapy cycle, the patient is often spiraling about the thought of self-managing the recovery process can result in not attaining “prior level of function”.   To that end many of the independent clubs we’ve worked with have established a program we call “60 for 60”- 60 days of membership for only $60.  Clinicians introduce their patients to trained staff members at the club and emphasize the importance of continuing the regimen started with Physical Therapy.  They can do so independently or with the support of a personal trainer but in order to achieve the level of functionality prior to the injury it is strongly recommended they continue to utilize equipment, expertise, and enjoy familiar surroundings that guided them to the point they are at.

We recently spoke with 10 Physical Therapy offices located throughout the northeast who indicated 1 out of 3 patients currently seeking therapy can be classified as deconditioned.  To that end, not only do we need to focus on extending their care but also address the development of new habits.  To create new habits takes time and guidance which is why we have seen the “60 for 60” work well when properly engaged.