by Mia Thomas, DPT
Physical therapists are trained to be masters of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, that means we know how your bones and muscles all connect and what role your nervous system plays in movements. In more recent years the physical therapy profession has advanced from a masters level degrees to a doctorate in physical therapy; this means we are more trained in how to perform research, use that evidence to guide our practice, and use differential diagnosis skills to ensure conditions are actually coming from the muscles, tendons, joints, or nerves; this is important as patients can now visit physical therapists without a script or referral, so if someone comes in to our office with shoulder pain we can differentiate whether that is actually coming from the muscles or joints versus more systemic conditions, like cancer or even their gallbladder.
While people often think of physical therapists as the person they see after surgery to get back to their prior level of function, we can be found all over the place. There are team physical therapists for professional sports, therapists in the school system that help kids negotiate their school environment safely, ones that are working with professional dance companies and other artists or musicians, physical therapists that come to the homes to work with infants or adults that are unable to leave their house for a variety of reasons. We are in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, ICU’s, work environments, research centers, and colleges teaching new generations of PT’s.
Did you know?
- Physical therapy began as a female only profession
- Physical therapy is the preferred treatment for chronic pain and low back pain
- Patients with low back pain that receive physical therapy as their first treatment spend 72% less within their first year of back pain.
- Studies show that patients that receive physical therapy for meniscal tears have the same long term effects as those that receive surgery
- This is also true for spinal stenosis!
- Forbes ranked physical therapists as having one of the top ten happiest jobs!
To celebrate all we can do, Lifespan Therapies’ physical therapists, Mia Thomas PT, DPT, and Margaret Vence, PT, DPT, GCS, will be offering a FREE balance and falls risk assessment clinic at our outpatient office on October 28th, 2017 from 10 am to 1 pm. Refreshments will be available and all participants will be provided with test scores, fall risk levels, and exercises they can perform at home to improve their balance.