Oct. 2, 2012. In October, we celebrate the many ways physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA) can help improve quality of life by restoring and improving a person’s ability to move.
“Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) has PTs and PTAs restoring quality of life all across our healthcare system”, says Jeanne Bradshaw, PT, Executive Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.
If you are one of many people who experience low back pain, for example, a physical therapist can help. If you have had a running injury or want to maintain your ability to run as you age, a physical therapist can help. If you are experiencing impairments from Bell palsy, diabetes, frozen shoulder, stroke, knee replacement or pelvic pain, to name but a few conditions, a physical therapist can help.
“Physical Therapy is crucial to recovery for patients in many settings, including Home Health, Skilled Nursing, the Wellness Center – THRIVE program and Hospital Inpatient and Outpatient care” says Bradshaw. “Losing your ability to move because of pain or problems with balance, strength or range of motion, significantly impact a person’s independence and quality of life.”
ARHS is constantly looking at ways to improve care. Currently, a team of outpatient therapists at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital are working together to implement new evidence-based guidelines for low back pain, in preparation for a new fast-access back pain program.
“We are interested in the ways that early therapy intervention can reduce costs of care,” says Bradshaw.
In many cases, a physical therapist can work to manage or eliminate pain without medication and its side effects. Physical therapy may even be an alternative to surgery, in many cases. A physical therapist will examine you and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote your ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. If you are looking for an evidence-based, cost-effective, conservative approach to health care, then a physical therapist may be right for you.
Physical therapists are required to complete a graduate degree – either a master’s or clinical doctorate – from an accredited education program and pass a state-administered national exam before practicing. By 2015, all physical therapists will graduate with a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree.
To learn more about physical therapy and other rehabilitation therapies available through Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit www.apprhs.org/rehab-therapy.