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The changing face of Physical Therapy

The changing face of physical therapy

Written by:  Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP, CGFI

Most people think that physical therapy is just for the injured or the disabled.  This is true, but physiotherapists do more than you think.  Physiotherapists are the medical specialists that doctors usually refer their patients to for rehabilitation of an injury or to reduce pain, but they also have other skills that make them more valuable and useful to the everyday health and fitness consumer.

One thing that has changed the role of physiotherapists is direct access.  Currently 48 states have some form of direct access where a health consumer can see a physiotherapist without a doctor’s prescription (New Jersey and New York are two of them).  Physiotherapists are uniquely qualified to physically evaluate, diagnose, and treat musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiopulmonary, integumentary, and other types of problems in a variety of patient populations from infants to geriatrics.  They are also trained in the proper identification of more complex issues and proper referral to a physician or another medical professional.  What makes them more valuable with direct access is that a visit to a physiotherapist can help you avoid surgery and decrease medical costs in the long run.

With their training and skills, physiotherapists can also address your sports and fitness issues, helping you increase your endurance and performance.  Physiotherapists are trained to assess the body as a whole, identifying movement disorders or imbalances that may be overlooked during a visit to a primary care physician.  Movement screens and physical evaluations done by a physiotherapist can reveal the performance deficits that may be preventing a client or patient from performing to their peak ability in their sport or recreational activity.  Not only will it improve performance, but it can also prevent injury through proactive exercise, manual techniques, and other treatment modalities.

Throughout this website are many examples of what a physiotherapist can do and how they can help the fitness and health consumer.  Furthermore, a physiotherapist, on average, spends more one-on-one time with the patient than the physician.  Here at Professional Physical Therapy and Training, we spend one hour one-on-one with each patient.  This increased time means more specific, individualized care and treatment.  More time can equal better results in less visits, with a program that’s suited to your level of skill and abilities.

So next time you’re having a problem with your game, you can get back on track sooner and more effectively if you take a trip to see a physiotherapist.  We’re not just for injuries anymore.

If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices our located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit with us.

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