SIKESTON - "The science of healing, the art of caring"
is this year's theme for National Physical Therapy
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
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
"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
"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
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
Back injuries remain at the top of ailments requiring
physical therapy services - particularly the lower
back. Knees, shoulders and ankles are all close
"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.