October 25, 2012
Health Observance: October is National Physical Therapy Month
In addition to Breast Cancer Awareness, October is also National Physical Therapy month. The purpose of this health observance is to raise awareness for the important role of physical therapy which can improve mobility, reduce risk of injury, decrease pain, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Physical therapy is more scientific than your usual exercise and stretching routine. Physical therapists receive a specialized graduate level education to earn a clinical doctorate degree. They develop knowledge and skills in a variety of sciences like physics, human anatomy, and kinesiology (human movement). For this reason, they understand how the body works and how to maximize mobility.
Physical therapy is proven effective and beneficial in several different health respects.
The therapy encompasses everything from pain relief, increased strength and flexibility, improving movement and range of motion, to simple balance and coordination.
Treatment in physical therapy may involve traditional or use highly sophisticated methods. Traditional techniques include facilitation of functional movement, stretching, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise; while advanced methods involve complex machinery like a computerized Balance Master. Aquatic therapy is another creative, therapeutic technique that uses water as a way to reduce stress on joints while increasing strength and flexibility.
This practice is considered a conservative therapy since it can, oftentimes, eliminate the need for more costly and invasive treatments like pain medication and surgery. Physical therapy is particularly effective for musculoskeletal pain such as, arthritis and tendonitis. Besides orthopedic conditions, physical therapy is also known to relieve pain resulting from injury. Physical therapists are educated in proper rehabilitation methods and design rehab programs to meet their individual patients' specific needs.
In addition to rehabilitation, physical therapy is also important to the prevention of injury. Because physical therapists are experts in body function, they can personalize programs to reduce your risk for injury. Whether or not you're an athlete, your therapist can develop a treatment program that strengthens specific muscles, improves flexibility, or combats bad tendencies that may be damaging to joints.
Since physical therapy focuses on increasing strength and flexibility, it is especially useful in fall prevention for seniors. According to the National Aging Council, one in three seniors over age 65 will fall at least once this year, resulting in hip fractures and other serious consequences. Seniors achieve better balance through strategic strength exercises of the ankle, knee, and hip.
In light of this health observance, consider how physical therapy may benefit you at this point in your life. There is never a better time than now to manage pain, improve mobility, and restore function to your body and your life. For more information on available treatment options or to find a physical therapist in your community, call 1.800.3ADVOCATE (1.800.323.8622). Or view information online at www.advocatehealth.com/gshp/rehabilitation.
The Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital provides both inpatient and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies to individuals of all ages. Locations include:
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
450 W. Highway 22
Barrington, IL 60010
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital -- Health and Fitness Center
1301 S. Barrington Road
Barrington, IL 60010
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Rehabilitation
5150 Northwest Highway
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Advocate Good Shepherd Outpatient Center
350 Surryse Road, Suite 250
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
Jody Hagestedt is the Manager of Rehabilitation Services for Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital. She is a licensed Occupational Therapist who has been in her field for over 30 years and received her Masters in Health Services Administration in 2010.