Physical Therapy for Weight Loss: Available at STAR Location in Creve Coeur
Physical therapy can help with your efforts to lose weight by reducing pain, creating a safe and effective exercise program, and preparing you for any additional treatments.
We want you to succeed. We provide the support you need, whether you plan to undergo bariatric surgery or endoscopic therapy or are trying to lose weight in other ways.
Why Choose STAR Physical Therapy for Weight Loss?
We care about the people who come to us for help. We know you face a difficult challenge and want to help you move forward.
We believe that you can make the change you want. We want you to feel healthy and good about yourself. Our program helps you do this through:
- Tailored exercise plans: Exercise and physical activity play a key role in weight loss, even if you plan to undergo surgery or another procedure. We adapt the plan to your goals, needs and physical ability while making sure it provides benefits. We do not want you to do anything that causes harm or that you cannot handle.
- Experienced therapists: Our therapists have years of experience helping people with a wide variety of weight-loss goals. They find their work very rewarding.
- Welcoming environment: We are here to support you, not shame you. You also do not need to worry — our therapy centers are not “jock gyms” but are filled with people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.
- Partnership with doctors: We work closely with Washington University physicians from the Bariatrics Program at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, providing the education and evaluation people must receive before bariatric surgery. We also support people who plan to undergo endoscopic therapy for weight loss or who are trying to lose weight in other ways.
Learn more about the benefits of choosing STAR sports therapy and physical therapy.
Evaluation and Education Before Bariatric Surgery
If you want to undergo bariatric surgery at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, you must first meet with a STAR physical therapist. Typically, you just attend one session that lasts up to 90 minutes, though your insurance may require more.
During this session, our therapist provides:
- Evaluation: We ask about any pain you may have and look for muscle imbalances. We evaluate your posture, balance, flexibility, range of motion, strength and body mechanics, such as how you rise from a chair. We also assess your cardiovascular fitness during walking or other exercise, adjusted to your abilities. We take your vitals before and after. The evaluation helps us gather the information your surgeon needs, as well as determine what level of exercise you should do before and after surgery. We may recommend additional physical therapy before your operation.
- Recommendations: We offer recommendations about improving your posture and adjusting your positioning, such as how to sit and stand with the least amount of strain. We discuss ways to reduce any pain you may feel.
- Exercise goals: Exercise and physical activity play a key role in making weight loss through surgery as effective as possible. While we expect people undergoing bariatric surgery to meet certain objectives, we also help you identify personal goals. We show you how to exercise safely and effectively and how to monitor your health and progress as you do so. We do not want exercise to hurt you or overburden you. We find a plan that works with your lifestyle.
- Explanation of the process: We talk with you about what to expect immediately after your surgery, as well as at certain milestones up to a year afterward. We explain how your body is likely to respond to surgery and exercise.
Returning to Physical Therapy After Bariatric Surgery
Our Bariatrics Program does not require you to return to physical therapy after surgery, but we recommend that you come back within three to six months. Your bariatric surgeon or your primary care provider can make the referral. Additional physical therapy can provide:
- Help with posture: Many people need help with their posture because the loss of so much weight allows them to stand differently.
- Correction of muscle imbalances: The pull of extra weight can cause some muscles to lengthen and others to shorten and also can strengthen some while weakening others. Even with weight loss, this imbalance often remains and can lead to joint pain.
- Relief from pain: Losing weight will likely decrease any pain you feel, but it may not go away as much as it could without additional therapy.
- Exercise encouragement: If you do not exercise and increase your metabolism after surgery, you will slowly gain the weight back. We help you with any exercise challenges you may have, including any injuries you may develop.
Evaluation and Education Before Endoscopic Therapy Procedures
Unlike bariatric surgery, people undergoing endoscopic therapy for weight loss at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital are not required to meet with a physical therapist.
Still, we recommend people see one of our therapists before their procedure, usually once a month for three to four months. We provide similar evaluation, education and benefits as we do for people undergoing surgery:
We help you create a safe and effective exercise program, a key part of losing weight and keeping it off. We evaluate your:
- Body mechanics
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Level of pain, if any
- Range of motion
How We Prepare You
We may suggest alternative ways to sit and stand to reduce strain and pain. We show you how to perform the exercises in your personalized plan and how to monitor your health and progress.
We also explain how your body is likely to respond to exercise, as well as the endoscopic procedure.
Physical Therapy for Other Weight Loss
You do not need to schedule a procedure with our Bariatrics Program or have previously received care through Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital to see one of our therapists. We welcome anyone trying to lose weight to speak with a doctor or other medical provider about whether physical therapy can help.
To qualify, you would typically need to:
- Also have pain you want treated (that would be the main reason for the referral, with weight loss or help with fatigue management mentioned as a secondary goal)
- Express a desire for us to create a safe exercise program for you, with the opportunity to come back if the plan needs adjusting
To learn more about our services or make an appointment, please call a STAR location:
- Chesterfield — Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Orthopedic Center: 314.514.3636
- Creve Coeur — Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital: 314.996.3050
- South County — Center for Advanced Medicine: 314.286.1000