October is National Physical Therapy Month
In October we celebrate National Physical Therapy (PT) Month, an annual opportunity to raise awareness about the numerous benefits of physical therapy.
Who are physical therapists? They’re movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education. A PT is a licensed, advanced practice healthcare provider with seven years’ education, including an undergraduate degree and three years of physical therapy school in which they earn a doctorate.
PTs help patients avoid surgery and prescription drugs, maximize mobility, manage pain and chronic conditions, and improve physical function and fitness. They treat people of all ages and abilities and empower them to actively take part in their own care.
Even before the pandemic, most Americans weren’t getting enough physical activity. To maintain baseline health, it’s now even more critical to get the recommended amount of daily physical activity, regardless of age or ability. Alarmingly, more than 80% of adults and adolescents don’t get enough physical activity, which is 30 minutes a day, or 150 minutes a week at a minimum.
Working with a PT, movement is a simple and effective way to prevent, or treat, chronic conditions including diabetes, arthritis and long COVID. It’s essential after heart attack or stroke for rehabilitation. Post cancer treatment, PT can help manage side effects including fatigue and reduced balance, strength and endurance. It’s useful for treating osteoarthritis and back pain to eliminate the need for prescription pain medicine.
For people who are experiencing pain, recovering from illness or injury, or simply wanting to increase daily movement and activity, a consultation with a PT may be a good place to start to increase overall health and wellness. A physician’s referral isn’t necessary to make an appointment with a PT for an evaluation.
St. Vincent Health’s Physical Therapists, David Cimino – PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS, Kelly Bergkessel – PT, DPT, COMT, and Kelsey Kuehn – PT, DPT, CSCS, are dedicated healers who advance their skills with equal parts science and art in a culture of caring.