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Fun Facts About Physical Therapy

Person helping another person stretch

Did you know that October is Physical Therapy Month? The goal of this month is to raise awareness about the key role physical therapy can play in your life such as pain relief, increased mobility and greater overall health. We are taking this as an opportunity to share some fun facts about our profession that you may not know!

The profession got its start in WW1. Reconstruction aids, or nurses, provided therapy treatment to soldiers suffering from injury so they could return to the battlefront. They preformed physical and occupational therapy before the therapy field was officially formed.

Physical therapy can help people with Alzheimer’s Disease. While there isn’t yet a cure for the disease, there are some treatments proven to help. Physical therapy is one of them. The integration of exercise can help you maintain your memory and assist with patient ability to perform activities of daily living.

There are five types of physical therapy. This is one that surprises many patients. There are many distinct services/treatments in PT, but five practice areas. They include: Orthopedic, Geriatric, Pediatric, Neurological and Cardiopulmonary.

Physical Therapists are trained in massage therapy. Sorry, but this isn’t the spa-like massage that you are thinking. PTs use deep tissue massage as a passive treatment in therapy. They target specific muscles related to your injury to soften the tissue.

Physical therapy can save you money. A recent study found that patients with lower back pain who started treatment with PT saved an average of 72 percent in the first year than those who chose surgery for relief.

PTs have advanced degrees. In the beginning of PT aws a profession, you only needed to have a BA. In 1990, the requirement increased to a Masters of Science and as of 2000 it is now a Doctorate.

The profession began as a female-dominated field. The first professional organization of physical therapy was called the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association. Now, the profession is a mix of male and female.

Physical therapy should not cause pain! There is a misconception about “no pain, no gain” when it comes to PT. While your therapist will not make your exercises easy, they should be relatively pain free. We look for a steady progression of strength training, not a high intensity treatment that would worsen the condition.

Physical therapy can help you too! In the state of Iowa, most insurance companies don’t require that you have a doctor’s note to see a physical therapist, so feel free to reach out to us today!

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