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Don’t Physical Therapists Say Not to ___?

Oftentimes, people have misconceptions about what physical therapists do and, more often, do not condone. Truth be told, much of this is due to how much the field has changed over the years and what current research and best practice tell us. We feel as physical therapists, it is not our job to tell you what not to do, but rather it is our job to guide you to living a life with less pain, more knowledge about your body, and help you to reach your personal goals. So here are some common things we hear from you about what PTs say you should NOT do --


  • Lifting

  • When lifting, it’s important to remember to keep the load CLOSE to your body to avoid unnecessary stress on any one body part (shoulders, back, etc.)





  • Twisting

  • Yes, our healthy spines are built to twist! It should move in conjunction with our shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles to create a functional rotation movement

  • Best to avoid lifting a heavy load - especially when not held close to the body - and twisting


  • Bending

  • Our healthy spines are also meant to bend forward! It’s okay!

  • The concern tends to be when people spend most of their day in a bent forward position (driving, sitting at a desk, sitting on the couch) and it is not balanced with the opposite movement - extension.

  • Best to avoid bending while lifting something heavy



  • Running

  • People often think running is discouraged - that it’s bad for our knees, ankles, etc. It IS a higher impact activity, so it is not necessarily the best form of exercise for every person. 

  • Truth is, running is still a great form of exercise (as long as you do not have an injury that prevents you from running)

  • It is important to have a balanced exercise program that also includes strength and flexibility training to prevent injuries


Our bodies are designed to move through all different planes of motion and we should strive to be strong, flexible, and fit to maintain that. The answer is never to fear movement, we should embrace it! There are times while recovering from an injury or a surgery that modifying our activities is required for optimal healing, but the goal is always to get you back to the highest level of functioning possible and we are here to guide you through that.


It’s important to remember that everyBODY and every situation is unique. We feel that making sweeping generalizations about different movements and exercises does YOU a disservice, as you come with your own set of needs and goals. As physical therapists and at Best Health PT, we are eager to get you back to what you WANT to do, not tell you what NOT to do. 

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