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Monday, July 28, 2014

Promotion designed to increase awareness of physical therapy

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

SIKESTON - "The science of healing, the art of caring"

is this year's theme for National Physical Therapy

Month.

National Physical Therapy Month, promoted by the

American Physical Therapy Association each October, is

the perfect opportunity "to increase awareness of

physical therapy in our community," according to

Sharon Urhahn, director of business development for

Missouri Delta Medical Center's ReStart.

For over seven years, ReStart has provided physical

therapy services for all ages from infants to the

elderly offering therapy to address everything from

the knee, hip and shoulder injuries to neurological

issues such as strokes, head injuries and balance

disorders, according to Carrie Johnson, physical

therapist.

Tracy Davied, a physical therapist specializing in

neurological and spine disorders at ReStart, said what

people are able to do following a stroke varies widely

from person to person. "Therapy can help you maximize

your level of independence."

Over the last few years, ReStart has added satellite

clinics in Charleston and New Madrid to service the

area in addition to the Robert A. Dempster ReStart

Physical Medicine Complex at MDMC, said Urhahn.

In November ReStart will add a new area of care

patients have had to travel to Cape Girardeau to

receive.

"I am going to be specializing in women's health

care," said Johnson. "It encompasses incontinence

problems, pelvic floor dysfunctions and complications

related to pregnancy."

Urhahn said having these additional services available

locally will be a welcome convenience for the

surrounding communities. "These problems are extremely

common."

"We look forward to continuing to expand our programs

and meet the needs of our community and surrounding

communities," said Amy Gordin, physical therapist and

director of rehabilitation services at ReStart.

Physical therapy tends to focus on the rehabilitation

of gross motor skills - such as walking - where fine

motor skills such as brushing teeth or playing the

piano are usually left to occupational therapists.

Two major areas of focus for physical therapists

include the use of therapy to prevent the need for

surgery and therapy to rehabilitate patients following

surgery.

Physical therapy before a surgery can help shorten a

patient's recovery time following a surgery.

A great number of patients undergo physical therapy

for more common injuries such as sprains, which are

related to ligaments and joint capsules, and strains,

which have to do more with tendons and muscles,

according to Kent Schott, athletic trainer.

"It's hard to say which one it is sometimes," said

Schott, adding that the treatment for strains and

sprains is "pretty much the same."

Prevention, however, is also important, according to

Johnson. "Education is a large part of physical

therapy," she said. "We want to prevent injuries -

it's not just fixing them when they get hurt."

Many work-related injuries can be avoided by such

things as ergonomic considerations - not only for

laborers but also for clerical positions, according to

Urhahn.

Back injuries remain at the top of ailments requiring

physical therapy services - particularly the lower

back. Knees, shoulders and ankles are all close

seconds, however.

"Often it is overuse or poor posture," said Johnson.

"Weight is often an issue." ReStart remains the only

clinic in this area that has a pool available for

aquatic therapies. Johnson said the buoyancy of the

water which reduces the effect of gravity is helpful

for many patients.