Physical therapists help keep Grand County on the move
October is National Physical Therapy Month and this year physical therapists nationwide are celebrating movement, including us at Alpine Physical Therapy & Wellness Center in Fraser, Colorado.The ability to stand or sit upright and to move your arms and legs without difficulty or pain is an important component of your health. And for some of us, the ability to move is not merely a matter of walking or handling objects, it is movement at a functional level.Physical therapists (PTs) are movement experts. We help people move forward. We are health care providers who examine and treat injuries and diseases that affect peoples’ abilities to move and function, such as: Neck and Back Pain/Injury Hip, Knee, Ankle Pain/Injury Shoulder, Elbow, Hand Pain/Injury Spinal Cord Injury, Head Injury Stroke, Heart Attack, Cardiopulmonary Disease Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral PalsyPTs will help you restore your range of motion, strength, mobility, function and reduce pain to optimize your health and well-being.Because people of all ages need to move and function, PTs work with patients and clients in all types of settings: Hospitals-Critical Care, Intensive Care, Acute and Rehabilitation Units Nursing Homes (Extended Care Facilities) Outpatient Clinics Work Place, Schools and HomePhysical therapy is not limited to treating illness or injury. A large part of therapy is in preventing injury or loss of movement and promoting peak physical performance. Physical therapists act as consultants in workplace settings to improve workers’ production, performance, and to reduce their physical stress and risk.They also provide services to athletes at all levels to screen for potential problems and institute appropriate exercise programs. Some PTs confer with individuals and fitness clubs to develop workouts that are safe and effective, especially for people who already know that they have a problem with their joints or their backs. People with chronic diseases such as obesity, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), arthritis or muscular dystrophy can benefit from specialized exercise programs designed by physical therapists.PTs are skilled professionals who are required to understand a vast array of problems that can affect movement, function and health. All PTs are college graduates, with the majority of current physical therapist education programs graduating students with a clinical doctorate (DPT) in physical therapy. All PTs must pass a national examination and be licensed by the state in which they practice.Although the cornerstones of physical therapist treatment are therapeutic exercise and functional training, PTs are highly skilled utilizing a variety of hands-on treatments. These manual treatments include, but are not limited to, manipulating a joint or the spine (that is, performing certain types of passive movements of the joint or spine) or soft tissue techniques, such as myofascial release, on a muscle(s)/fascia to promote proper movement and function.In addition to manual treatment, PTs also educate patients to take care of themselves and to perform certain exercises on their own. PTs use such techniques as electrotherapy, ultrasound (high-frequency waves that produce heat), and other forms of heat and cold treatments. Although other kinds of practitioners offer some of these treatments, it is important to know that physical therapy can be provided only by qualified physical therapists.Health insurance covers most forms of physical therapy, but coverage varies with each plan. Some people choose to pay for physical therapy directly, even if their policy does not cover their program or if their benefits have run out. This practice is growing, as most states, including Colorado, allow you to see a physical therapist without a physician’s referral. We help people move forward with the strength and physical health to enjoy the beauty and splendor of our magnificent mountain community.
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