Sunday, November 25, 2012

Physical Therapy for Headaches

If you have frequent headaches, there are a number of possible reasons for that. Many of those reasons can be addressed by physical therapy, thus reducing both the frequency and intensity of your headaches.
There are actually several different categories of headaches, and within each of those categories, several potential causes. The headache category physical therapists have had the most success in treating is that of tension headaches. Thus, during your first appointment, your headaches will be assessed in an effort to determine which category they fit into. Tension headaches are most commonly caused by stress, fatigue, or poor posture, though they are also sometimes caused by problems in the jaw or neck.
One of the ways your physical therapist will help you determine exactly what kind of headache you have is by asking you a series of questions. One of those questions is simply, "Where does it hurt?" Typically, a tension headache begins at the back of your head and spreads to its top. It can also be felt in your eyes. Specific positions, such as sitting at a desk, may make these types of headaches worse, and rest usually reduces their intensity. Of course, your therapist will also ask you whether or not you have experienced any injuries to your jaw, neck, or head.
One of the goals your therapist will have in treating your headaches is to improve the mobility of your neck. A technique known as manual therapy, in which the muscles at the back of your neck are stretched, is used in order to accomplish this. Another goal your therapist will have will be to improve your overall strength. This will help to further stabilize your upper back and neck, which in turn will improve your posture. As a result of your improved posture, it will be easier for you to stand or sit for longer periods of time without experiencing any additional pain.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Physical Therapy Schools - How to Make the Right Choice

There are many physical therapy schools from which one can choose from when pursuing the required education to become a physical therapist.
People working in this field assist individuals who are experiencing movement restriction due to an illness or injury. Job openings are expected to increase by as much as 30 percent by the year 2018, and according to the United States Bureau of Labor statistics, this may be a modest estimate. For this reason, those who anticipate pursuing this career path should give serious thought to their education.
Physical Therapy Schools
Education Requirements
It is necessary that one becomes specially trained, if they want to work in this profession. A Master's degree is the minimum education level required of those who plan to become physical therapists. However, many students choose to pursue a doctor of physical therapy degree, although this decision is usually dependent on several factors such as tuition costs and how quickly the individual wishes to become employed.
One of the best actions prospective students can take is to start his or her research early. For instance, when one is taking courses during his or her first year of college, it is wise to devote some time to researching the various physical therapy schools available and their required prerequisites. This is because such requirements vary from school to school, making it essential to obtain detailed information in advance.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reasons You May Need Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help patients manage and recover from debilitating physical conditions that leaves them unable to function normally. The purpose of physical therapy is to help people who have conditions that limit their ability to function in their daily activities. A physical therapist uses many techniques and devices to assist clients with recovering physical strength and range of motion, improving mobility of injured body parts, managing pain, improving posture, and managing physically debilitating conditions. Conditions patients normally suffer can be the result of an injury, illness, or chronic disease such as diabetes. Therapeutic equipment can include ultraviolet and infrared lamps, EMS machines, whirlpool baths, and ultrasonic machines.
Physical therapy consists of a therapist assessing a patient's ability to function, monitoring motor function, improving balance and coordination, increasing muscle strength, improving range of motion, creating treatment plans for the rehabilitation facility as well as at home, and recording a patient's progress. They also instruct patients on how to use therapeutic medical devices such as canes and crutches, wheelchairs, braces, artificial limbs...etc.
Many people are not sure if they are in need of physical therapy. Physical therapy can be used for all neuromuscular or musculoskeletal dysfunctions. If you have any of the following conditions, you may require physical therapy:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Are the Tasks of a Physical Therapist?

A Physical Therapist will serve their patients in helping them to relieve pain, improve their mobility, and help to prevent any permanent physical damage that may cause disability.
Patients of a Physical Therapy may include people who suffer from severe back pain, shoulder pain, fractures, heart disease, arthritis, and head injuries, to name a few. Sometimes, the work of a physical therapist can be physically demanding as they may have to help move patients and help them make certain body movements during therapy. Besides helping move their patients, in Physical Therapy a therapist may also have to move around heavy equipment sometimes.
Physical Therapy have access to their patients medical histories and will examine them so that they can test their patients strength and muscle performance, range of motion, balance, posture and so on. For instance, if a patient has a rotary cuff injury, they will have a hard time raising their arm straight up. The physical Therapy will continually test that patient to see if improvements are made as treatment goes on. Their goal here is to get their patient to raise their arm without pain and to reach that point, the Physical Therapy will have to develop a strategy and a plan to get the healthy outcome that he/she and the patient desire.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Best Job in America? - Physical Therapy

Do you know why physical therapy is regarded as one of the best jobs in America? Are you wondering what career path to take? Do you want to change from your dead end job to a career in one of the fastest growing industries in America? Do you want to work in a profession that allows you to have a life outside of your work?

If you do, consider a career change to physical therapy. It is a challenging and rewarding career and as you'll see, is considered one of the best jobs in America. Here's why.

Job security is a major factor in determining Americas' best job. Even in the recent global financial crisis, the health care sector has performed as one of the strongest growing industries in America, in particular physical therapy. The ageing population in conjunction with obesity is placing greater demand on the health care system and therefore on physical therapists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate a 39% increase in physical therapy workforce in the next 10 years. That's a further 75000 jobs. This is a reason why US News rated it as the 4th best Health care job in America.

A high paying salary is another reason physical therapy is high on Americas' best jobs list. In 2010, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average yearly wage for a physical therapist was approximately $76,000. You can expect to be paid more than $105000 in a managerial position and around $54000 in your first year after you graduate from university. The beauty is that the more experience you have the better you get paid so the prospects of development and progression are phenomenal.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Is Pediatric Physical Therapy?

Pediatric physical therapy is a healthcare profession that encompasses evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, children and adolescents. It's very important to discover and treat problems in children on time. Research proves that early intervention works well with many pediatric diagnoses including but not limited to ADHD/ADD, ataxia, autism, brachial plexus injuries like Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder, developmental delays, down syndrome, gait abnormalities, muscular dystrophy, neurological impairments, orthopedic conditions, plagiocephaly, premature birth, scoliosis, sensory processing disorder, torticollis, toe walking, and traumatic brain injuries.
Physical therapists' entry level degree has changed throughout the years. It started with the bachelor's, continued to the master's, and now its the doctorate in physical therapy. Now little patients are treated by highly professional people with the highest possible degree.
Did you know that not every pediatrician specializes in child development? Only 15% of pediatricians are such specialists. Also, it is easy to miss signs of developmental delays during routine visits. That is when pediatric physical therapists can help.
Physical therapy evaluation usually starts with observation of child's appearance, movements, activities, behaviors. It may then continue to neurological and orthopedic exam, and it continues to testing with peer-reviewed assessment tools like Peabody Developmental Motor Scales - 2 (PDMS-2). The scores are then carefully calculated and conclusions are drawn as to whether the child requires physical therapy intervention.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Preparing for Your First Physical Therapy Session

If you are recovering from an injury or surgery you may have to undergo physical therapy rehabilitation. If you have been in an accident and suffered neck, back or leg injuries that required surgery you most likely will need therapy to regain flexibility, strength, coordination and reduce pain. As with any medical appointment the first visit to a physical therapist can cause anxiety and nervousness but if you prepare properly and know what to expect you can make your visit a comfortable experience that will get you on the road to recovery.

The best way to prepare for a physical therapy appointment is to know what to expect. Chances are you are undergoing rehabilitation as part of a recovery program and will have been referred to a physical therapist by your primary care physician. It doesn't hurt to search online for information about the therapist and the practice to read reviews from former patients who can give you insight into how their sessions went. The goal of most first sessions is to give the patient a physical evaluation and determine goals for treatment. A therapist will likely want to check your flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, posture and heart rate before beginning any program.

In addition to the evaluation a therapist will want to review your medical history including the recent injury or surgery. Be ready for this by listing any and all injuries and surgeries you have had in your life as well as any serious illnesses, recurring problems and debilitating conditions. Also tell the physical therapist about any medications you may be taking or have taken in the past. The more information the therapist has about your medical history the better he or she can map out a rehabilitation program that will take into account problems you have had.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Physical Therapy and Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are common. Whether you are a professional athlete or someone who enjoys recreational games of basketball or softball injuries can occur as a result of almost any kind of competitive athletics. While some sports have greater risk for injuries than others any type of physical activity can cause injuries such as pulling a hamstring while jogging or spraining an ankle while playing beach volleyball. Recovering from a sports related injury often involves physical therapy and the education that takes place during rehabilitation can help athletes identify specific injuries, how to recover from the injury and more importantly how to avoid further injuries in the future.
A sports related injury can be from physical contact with an opponent or from any number of twist and turns you take while running or falling to the ground. The most common sports injuries include sprains, strains, knee injuries and shin splints. If an injury is severe enough it may require surgery but if there are no broken bone or ligament damage many sports injuries can be treated through physical therapy. Most therapy programs designed for athletes involve rehabilitation and rest. Rehabilitation is used to return strength and flexibility to an injured body part while rest is always recommended so an injury can properly heal. The initial treatment of a physical therapy program will be moderate since aggressive movement of an injured body part can lead to further damage.
When starting therapy to rehabilitate a sports injury, be prepared to take it slow. Athletes often have trouble with this discipline since many are trained to be fast and explosive and not many can deal with the mental strain that comes with nursing an injury. Many athletes suffer psychologically when injured since most develop a sense of immortality due to their physical prowess and being forced to the sideline because of a sprain or ligament strain is a difficult situation to accept. The worse thing an athlete can do is play through the pain and try to ignore it. The longer you exercise or compete with an injury the worse it will get.

Friday, August 3, 2012

5 Great Reasons to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant

A physical therapist assistant is someone who provides physical therapy services to treat individuals suffering with ailments that hinder their mobility. This can be due to illness, accident, developmental disorder or other health related conditions that limit their everyday activities. Massage, exercises, traction and gait training are few of the many treatment methods used to treat such individuals to restore their mobility. Despite tough educational requirements, it is still considered a solid career choice due to the numerous benefits the career gives. Here are a few reasons to become a physical therapist assistant:

1. Physical therapist assistants are in great demand these days and as per statistics, their job opportunities are expected to continue to increase at above average rate through the next 5 years. There are several ongoing cases of developmental disorders which require physical therapy. Many occupations, such as factory workers are involved in rigorous jobs which often causes injuries, also the growing elderly population require constant physical therapy, hence the increase in demand.

2. They have a lot of options available in terms of area of practice, job location and timings. They can work in various health-care environments such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing clinics, private practices, with sports teams etc. Also, they can find job opportunities practically in any geographic region and that too on a part-time, full-time or temporary basis. They also get a chance to travel around the world while working on a per diem basis.

3. They help patients in their pain and give them as much independence and mobility as possible; making a significant difference in their lives every day. This gives them a great sense of personal satisfaction and confidence, since they positively influence others lives. Working for people and giving them better quality life embeds huge contentment.