Do you need physical therapy? Boot camp. Spinning class. Half-marathon training. Sometimes the path to getting fit can leave you wincing on the sidelines.

Here’s why a few sessions with a professional Palmdale Physical Therapist might be your quickest route to recovery.

Rehab Is Getting More and More Popular

It’s estimated that the number of individuals getting physical therapy services has gone up from about 1.2 million per day in 2000 to 1.6 million per day in 2008.

This is a jump of almost 40 percent in less than 10 years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the industry will grow by nearly a third by 2016 — about three times the national average — outpacing comparable professions, like nursing and emergency medical services.

Part of the reason for the increase is that sports injuries themselves are growing: Close to 20 percent of us got one in 2008, up from 14 percent in 2000.

At the same time, there’s been a shift away from the thought that plain rest is best for recovery.

Recent studies show that the best way to speed up recovery is to get you moving as soon as possible. Let’s assume you sprain your ankle.

You still have two good arms and one leg to work with. If you sit at home doing nothing until it’s healed, your ankle will be stiff and weak, and the rest of your body will also be out of shape.

For this reason, doctors now prescribe physical therapy to keep you active and prevent the injured area from atrophying. If the hip muscles do not have the right amount of strength to stabilize the knee, injuries can occur.

Can Physical Therapy Prevent Injury?

But most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that physical therapy isn’t just for the wounded. Many clinics offer preventive evaluations to determine muscle weaknesses or other imbalances that could lead to injury.

If a problem is identified, the therapist will provide exercises to keep an issue like tight hamstrings from turning into something more serious, such as a hamstring tear.

A majority of injuries are the result of long-standing weaknesses. Correcting those problems now can save you a lot of stress and money down the road.

Insurers can also cap the number of visits allowed, sometimes paying for as few as four for a minor injury. An aspect of the discrepancy in coverage is that many insurance companies underestimate the effectiveness of Physical Therapy.

A bill recently introduced in Congress increases access to therapy services for Medicare beneficiaries by removing the need for a physician’s referral, something that a handful of state laws have already allowed.

The physical therapy community is also lobbying insurers to expand coverage, lower out-of-pocket patient costs, and pay for treatment without a doctor’s referral.