Unlocking the Full Potential of Physical Therapy: A Comprehensive Approach

physical therapy st. louis

I’m Carly Donahue, thrilled to be part of the Axes team at our O’fallon, MO location, here since November ’22. With a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Maryville University, earned in 2021, I bring a deep passion for helping individuals overcome orthopedic injuries.

In my practice, I firmly believe that each patient deserves a personalized plan of care that addresses all facets of their health journey, guiding them towards functional independence. That’s why I’m committed to continually expanding my expertise, pursuing various manual and sports-specific certifications to better serve our community.

When I completed my physical therapy training, I felt equipped to guide my patients through their musculoskeletal issues after seven years of study. But here’s the thing: physical rehabilitation encompasses far more than just strength training and stretching!

When I assess a new patient, I enjoy delving into four key areas of health that often go overlooked: sleep, stress, nutrition, and hydration. By exploring these with patients, I frequently uncover unique insights that enable me to tailor their treatment more effectively.

Sleep: Let’s face it, most of us aren’t getting enough shut-eye each night. Research overwhelmingly demonstrates the importance of consistent, adequate rest. It’s crucial to recognize that different age groups have varying sleep needs; for instance, teenagers, like my 16-year-old soccer player, may require up to 12 hours nightly! I often advise patients that if they’re waking up to their alarm, their body likely still needed more rest. Personally, I gauge my own sleep sufficiency by waking a few minutes before my alarm.

Stress: I’m willing to bet we all experience stress in three primary areas of life: family, friends, and work (or school for the younger crowd). Stress is an undeniable part of life, but is it impacting our performance and pain levels? Our bodies possess a built-in alarm system, and when stress triggers it too easily, physical pain can often result.

Nutrition: I’m not here to dictate dietary choices, but as physical therapists, we can recognize signs of fatigue and stalled progress when our patients aren’t properly nourished. Ensuring adequate intake of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins/minerals is paramount, regardless of dietary preferences. My top tip for maintaining energy levels and a healthy body? Meal prepping! Investing time upfront to prepare balanced meals for the week sets you up for success and leaves you feeling energized.

Hydration: Let’s be honest—most of us are chronically dehydrated. We simply don’t drink enough water. In the clinic, physical therapists can spot signs of dehydration such as reduced strength and stamina, headaches, dizziness, flushed cheeks, or a rapid heart rate. Thankfully, products like Hydroflask, Yeti, and Stanley make it easier to stay hydrated throughout the day.

While physical therapists are renowned for their expertise in movement, our goal is to ensure our patients experience holistic rehabilitation. So remember: prioritize sleep, manage stress, nourish your body, and stay hydrated!

As you embark on this journey, consider Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis as your partner in achieving optimal health. Trust us for top-notch physical therapy services at 20 locations (and growing) – all conveniently located for those living and working in the Greater St. Louis (MO and IL) region. Embrace the convenience of Direct Access—start your therapy at Axes without a prescription, while we still collaborate seamlessly with your physician. Our professional yet friendly approach ensures a personalized experience tailored to your unique needs.

Choose Axes, and let’s make 2024 your healthiest year yet! Schedule your free injury assessment online today. Your mobility matters, and we’re here to help you achieve it.

Good news! Thanks to Direct Access now in Missouri – patients no longer need a prescription for physical therapy. Axes can see you within 24-48 hours – without a prescription. 

To schedule an appointment with Carly, or any of our expert physical therapists, request an appointment online today.