Despite the presence of leading facilities that provide physical therapy services right here in the City of Saline, too many members of our community aren't fully aware of just how much this really benefits them.
Physical therapy, or "PT," means maximizing functional potential for an person who's survived a stroke. Reducing the impact of workplace injuries on business operations. It is a value not limited to advancing age, as parents and schools responsible for the well-being of student athletes can attest.
For 2017, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is using National Physical Therapy Month to help raise "awareness of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for the long-term treatment of chronic pain ...." The Washtenaw Health Initiative Opioid Project has put local numbers to the devastating impact of the misuse of these medications.
These statistics bring home for Saline the APTA "Move Forward #ChoosePT Campaign."
The aim of physical therapy is to help patients "function better," said Steve Brown, Director of Physical Therapy in Motion. To whatever extent is practical for the individual, an important goal is to reduce pain.
Another outcome might be a rehabilitated return to previous activities, or learning new ways doing more basic things that others might take for granted. Grocery shopping. A father walking his daughter down the aisle for her wedding. The ability of someone to live his or her life with a greater degree of autonomy.
In practical terms, how does PT advance these interests?
"We look at the body to break down dysfunction, to break down pain, getting to the root of it," Michele Nippes responded. As Clinical Director for Probility Physical Therapy in Saline, she emphasized the specialized skill with which this assessment can then be used to direct how exercises are performed for improvement. This is the key, as opposed to treadmills and "James Bond gadgets."
Both Probility and Physical Therapy in Motion have additionally observed the under-tapped value of assessment and education in the prevention sports-related injuries. Steve Brown is a certified athletic trainer who sees the reason for concern. "Kids now days go non-stop and they specialize, which can lead to repetitive-use injuries."
Eastgate Saline offers our area an advantage with local options.
Therapy can be a significant time commitment; two to three times a week over the course of months is typical. "Doctors ask, we ask, and this is in addition to our already busy lives," Michele Nippes concluded. Reducing access drive-times to and from "is a big deal."
If you're willing to help others by sharing the value of PT, be sure to use this hashtag with a Twitter update: #PhysicalTherapyMonth