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Agility Spine and Sports Physical Therapy
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With baby boomers getting older, the number of Americans over 65 years old is increasing each year. Chances are, many will need some kind of specialized therapy.

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Thanks to an aging simulation lab, one group of physical therapy students is learning how it feels to be decades older.

Wraps, bandages and braces are used to mimic stiff joints, limit motion and create balance problems.

Goggles and colored lenses show students what it’s like to have trouble seeing.

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These physical therapists-in-training are experiencing how age-related changes affect movement.

“Most of them really like it because it’s active learning,” Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Chatham University Dr. Michelle Criss said. “They say they will remember it much better.”

“A classmate and I were trying to play catch with a ball and just the depth perception was completely off,” physical therapy student Olivia Zeiler said.

The lab simulates everyday tasks the elderly can find challenging, like reading cooking instructions.

The idea is that showing students how the elderly navigate the world fosters more understanding caregivers.

“The goal is really more empathy, having a little bit more understanding,” Criss said.
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As the number of children participating in athletics increases, so does the number of serious athletic injuries. To meet the growing demand for prevention and rehabilitation of these injuries, an increasing number of physical therapists are making child's play out of rehabilitation using video game technology.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy treatment help shorten hospital stays, provide a cost-effective alternative to surgery and help patients regain an active daily life. Traditionally, therapies require repetitive, oftentimes arduous verbal and tactile feedback from the clinician, and, added to this, many typical treatments also lack objective criteria for measuring progress. The whole process can frustrate the patient and therapist alike as they both struggle to measure the patient's ability in a given task.

Until now.

Picture a patient sitting comfortably in front of a computer. Images on the screen capture his or her attention as s/he playfully directs them using wireless motion-sensitive technology. This may sound like the newest video game fad, but in reality, it is the latest breakthrough in physical therapy.

Meet Performance Health Technologies' Core:Tx® therapy program, a groundbreaking wireless therapy system that effectively guides, documents and tracks patient rehabilitation, providing instant feedback on progress based on measurable objectives.

The use of interactive video technology in neurological treatment and rehabilitation is not entirely new, having gained media attention in recent months with the introduction of Nintendo's® Wii gaming technology into therapy settings. News outlets ranging from trade and industry-specific media to the Associated Press have reported on hospitals around the country incorporating Wii into their therapy programs.

The philosophy is quite simple. Wii simulates body movements similar to those used in traditional physical therapy, but does so while simultaneously offering divertive entertainment to the user. As a result, patients not only enjoy therapy sessions but also can actually forget that they are working. In essence, "Wiihabilitation," as the practice is sometimes called, takes the drudgery out of physical therapy while at the same time improving patient morale. The desirability of video-based therapy is easy to understand, as people naturally shy away from monotony and gravitate towards activities that entertain them.

Despite the benefits of Wii, however, it does have significant shortcomings in clinical application, the most apparent of which is its inability to provide objective and measurable feedback on patient progress. This is because, at its root, Wii was created as a form of entertainment - a game - and, as such, its technology is not based on any medical model of functionality. Thus, while therapists have appreciated its contribution to their programs and practices, they have not been able to use Wii to track and report patient improvement. In reality, Wii's increase in rehabilitative popularity in recent months has not been due to its being the best product of its kind on the market, but rather to its being the only product of its kind of the market.
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Why is physical therapy important? The simple answer is because it can change lives. For those recovering from sports injuries or surgery, even people suffering from chronic pain, the benefits of physical therapy can be enormous.

More than 3.5 million sports-related injuries occur each year to the 30 million children and teens who participate in organized sports in the US, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Many of these injuries require physical therapy so that the child can heal and eventually return to playing the sports that they love.

The importance of physical therapy is also increasing because roughly 10,000 people turn 65 each day, and many of those people need hip and knee replacements. In fact, more than 300,000 hip replacements and 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States. Every one of those patients needs help getting back on their feet after such a major surgery.

As more and more people choose physical therapy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be a 34% increase in physical therapy jobs between 2014-2024. They rate job prospects to be “particularly good”, and “especially favorable” for physical therapists. For caring people, willing to put in the time and hard work to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy, this is a smart and rewarding career choice.
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Physical therapists are movement experts who optimize quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

After making a diagnosis, physical therapists create personalized treatment plans that help their patients improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.

Physical therapists empower people to be active participants in their own treatment, and they work collaboratively with other health professionals to ensure patients receive comprehensive care.
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Physical therapy helps people of all ages who have medical conditions, illnesses or injuries that limit their regular ability to move and function.

A customized physical therapy program can help individuals return to their prior level of functioning, and encourage activities and lifestyle changes that can help prevent further injury and improve overall health and well being. Primary care doctors often refer patients to physical therapy at the first sign of a problem, since it is considered a conservative approach to managing problems. Wondering what makes physical therapy so important? In honor of Physical Therapy month in October, here are 10 ways it may benefit you:
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Top 20 Useful Physical Therapy Apps for Patients to Try

Physical therapy apps for patients have certainly come a long way. Gone are the days when physical therapists had to simply hope their patients would remember which exercises to do at home and how to do them in order to support their rehabilitation.

One of the best things about technology, is its use in healthcare. And that includes affordable and accessible physical therapy apps for patients to use with their therapy – they’re part of the bright future of the physical therapy profession.
Determining the best apps for physical therapists is based on the needs of that therapist and their patients. Everyone is different, and the app store is overflowing with every kind of app from those that help patients understand their injury and to apps that help patients keep up with their exercise routines at home.
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Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) is a common postural deformity in infants, and one that can be effectively treated by physical therapy. A set of updated, evidence-based recommendations for physical therapy management of CMT is presented in the October issue of Pediatric Physical Therapy. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Reflecting the latest research relevant to the prevention, screening, and intervention of CMT, the 2018 update emphasizes the importance of early identification and referral for physical therapy. "Early intervention for infants with CMT, initiated before three to four months of age, results in excellent outcomes," according to the updated clinical practice guideline. The authors are Sandra L. Kaplan, PT, DPT, PhD, of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark; Colleen Coulter, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS, of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; and Barbara Sargent, PT, PhD, PCS, of University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
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October is the time of year we recognize the profession of physical therapy and celebrate the varied services that physical therapists can provide within our community.

This year, the American Physical Therapy Association (apta.org) has established a “#ChoosePT” campaign to bring increased awareness to the opioid epidemic and the role of PT in safely managing pain.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative to opioids for non-cancer related pain. Following are few tools supported by research that physical therapists may utilize to manage pain (Brence, Joseph. Four Ways PT manages pain; apta.org 2018).
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Starting today, over 500 clinicians from across the country — physicians, nurses, physical therapists, psychologists and more — are gathering at the Healthcare Summit + Expo, the largest of its kind, to improve the care of people with paralysis.
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