by Rhonda Kurtz, Jeanne Smith, Kristine Schulte, Stephen Villanueva
Clockwise from top left: Rhonda Kurtz PT, CWS, Jeanne Smith PT, DPT, Kristine Schulte PT, Stephen Villanueva PT
October is Physical Therapy Month and a time for celebrating physical therapy as a profession as well as individual physical therapists that improve the lives of many people. Physical therapy dates back to ancient Greece when Hippocrates and Galenus recommended massage and manual therapy techniques for physical healing and stress relief.
In the early 20th century, the profession was significantly influenced by both the polio epidemic and World War II. Skilled physical therapists worked side by side with physicians to provide solutions for these patient groups, improving function for patients negatively impacted by disease and injury.
Today physical therapy is a research-supported form of health care that prevents, identifies, corrects or alleviates acute or prolonged movement dysfunction or pain of anatomic or physiologic origin, according to the Physical Therapy Practice Act.The profession is diverse, including specialization in sports medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, wound care, orthopedics, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, pelvic floor/incontinence, and neurological rehabilitation. “Physical therapists are your trusted experts in restoring and improving motion, and they can improve your quality of life, helping you to keep healthy, fit, and active and avoid surgery and long-term use of prescription medications, in many cases," said Scott Ward, American Physical Therapist Association president.
Although practice areas are varied, the goal is always the same: identify patient needs and maximize movement potential and quality of life. Whether helping patients to recover from the effects of accident related injury, stroke and debilitating disease or simply helping the “weekend warrior” to recover from aches and pains due to muscle tightness or improper body mechanics, physical therapists are a vital part of the health care team. They use their vast knowledge, education and compassion to help patients set their lives back in motion. Join us in celebrating the physical therapist who helps bring motion to your life.