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Aging Well: Yearly physical therapy check ups can keep people functioning at their best

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Aging Well: Yearly physical therapy check ups can keep people functioning at their best

You've probably heard of physical therapy rehab. But what about "pre-hab"? Some say preventative rehabilitation to make sure you're moving at your best can keep you Aging Well.

Physical therapist Art Lum, co-owner of Fukuji & Lum Physical Therapy, is doing his yearly assessment of client Beverly Wong. It's a full body check, but her problem is a fractured foot that makes walking hard. "My foot was throbbing. I just cope with it," she shares.

For 25 years, she lived with constant pain. The 73-year-old took pain relievers and saw other physical therapists, and says it didn't help much. Then she met Lum four years ago. 

"He's taught me to walk more of a straight line. [He taught me] when I walk, which hand to put out, and make sure my hips swivel," Wong says.

She now walks three miles a day, her foot no longer throbs, and she's off her pain meds. Wong likes to come for a yearly touch base to make sure old habits haven't crept back. She saw him two week ago and he determined she "wasn't waddling that bad but I still wasn't doing it correctly. I need a checkpoint. When I came to see him today, I'm doing good."

Lum and his colleagues evaluate about 20 different things on a person's skeletal structure from head to toe, to make sure the body's working at its full potential. "Breathing, postures, how you turn, reach, walk, and your passion. How do you live and perform your passion? Is it babysitting, caregiving, traveling, weeding the yard? We like to make sure that person can function in that manner," Lum explains.

Wong's passion is to be able to stay active, walking and swimming. She says she appreciates Lum's help. "It makes you able to do things independently. You're not leaning on anything. I'm not even thinking of a walker or cane," beams Wong.

Wong says she's grateful she knows how to literally put her best foot forward. 

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