Physical therapists can help obesity patients with weight loss and conditioning
A new study shows that the estimated death toll from obesity is greater than was originally thought. An article in the LA Times says “some 18.2% of premature deaths in the United States between 1986 and 2006 were associated with excess body mass, according to a team of sociologists led by a Columbia University demographer. That estimate, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, is far higher than the 5% toll widely cited by researchers.”
According to Michael McKindley, DPT, of Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in the Costa Mesa office, many people don’t realize the role a physical therapist can play in helping obese people in addressing their health issues in a supervised medical setting which is often covered by insurance.
Insurance will pay for obesity therapy if there is pain
“Obesity is covered by insurance if there is pain somewhere like the knee or hips,” said McKindley. “It also covers physical therapy if balance or walking is an issues. When it comes to joint pain, weight is an issue due to compression. Compressive forces of the knee are on a 1 to 5 ratio, so for every 10 pounds you are overweight it adds 50 pounds of excessive pressure to the knees.
“A big complaint of patients that are overweight is, ‘my knee hurts, so I can’t exercise.’ We hear this all the time. Since they can’t exercise they can’t lose weight and the cycle perpetuates. Under the guidance of a physical therapist we have the skills to reduce the pain while increasing cardiovascular output to minimize weight and start to reverse the cycle. Willingness to do the work and correct guidance is all it takes to reverse the changes of obesity and joint degeneration in the feet, knees, hips and spine.”
Progressive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation offers personalized physical therapy to programs to meet all needs.