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.