Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Healing Hands of a Physical Therapist

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 I am often asked by friends and family members what I actually do as a Physical Therapist.  The next question that follows is how much schooling it takes to earn a degree in Physical Therapy.  What I gather is that the general public does not know much about my profession.  This blog is a brief summary of the school requirements to become a Physical Therapist followed by examples of techniques or interventions we as a profession can offer our patients.

Students that are interested in pursuing physical therapy have to complete a Bachelor’s program in a science to have the opportunity to apply to Physical Therapy schools.  Once the student is accepted into a Physical Therapy Program, he or she will endure a rigorous curriculum over a three year period to earn an Entry Level Clinical Doctorate Degree of Physical Therapy.  The Physical Therapy Curriculum consists of traditional classes, hands-on laboratories and 8 to 12 week internships in different settings under the direct supervision of a practicing Physical Therapist.  Upon graduation, one must then sit and pass a state licensing exam to receive his or her license to practice Physical Therapy.  Finally, a Physical Therapist must complete continuing education requirements to maintain his or her state license.

A Physical Therapist possesses the knowledge to perform the procedures or techniques listed below:

Joint mobilization

  • Clinician procedures to facilitate movement at restricted or painful joints of the spine or extremities
  • These procedures utilize different degrees of force to accomplish goals
  • Joint mobilizations are high level procedures that require the knowledge few healthcare providers possess

Soft tissue mobilizations

  • Clinician procedures used to address soft tissue restrictions, muscle spasms or myofascial restrictions
  • Aid in lymphatic drainage
  • Utilized to remodel soft tissue that has healed imperfectly following injury

Passive range of motion

  • Clinician guided motion of the patient’s extremities
  • No active participation from the patient
  • Utilized to improve extremity available range of motion

Manual stretching

  • Clinician generated stretch
  • Utilized to gain soft tissue flexibility of extremities or spine
  • Usually a static stretch held for 30 to 60 seconds

Joe and I at Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition have earned our Clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree.  We have also elected to pursue post-doctoral certifications in philosophies that incorporate manual therapy techniques to facilitate healing of soft tissue injuries, provide pain relief and improve range of motion.  Our treatment approaches are based heavily on the above mentioned techniques and procedures along with thermal/electrical modalities to restore function and get patients back to their pre-injury status.

Ed Kinsella P.T. D.P.T. Cert. MDT

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501

www.carusoptrd.com

609-738-3143

The Art of Throwing a Baseball: A Combination of Violence and Mechanical Brilliance

Our national pastime, the great game of baseball is finally here and ball players and weekend warriors alike are tying up the laces on their spikes and heading out to the field.  This inevitably means that physician and orthopedic offices will be inundated with these same athletes complaining of shoulder pain.  The onset of shoulder pain is usually a result of poor throwing mechanics or weak muscles unable to handle the stresses of the throwing motion.  Muscle weakness can lead to abnormal compression and shear forces resulting in a malpositioned humeral head in the glenoid fossa during numerous phases of the throwing motion.  An abnormal throwing pattern can result from glenohumeral instability and inadequate control of the rotator cuff and parascapular musculature.  The newly acquired abnormal throwing pattern can compound the problem and result in further irritation and inflammation (1).

A Physical Therapist can perform a thorough musculoskeletal examination to pinpoint the muscle imbalance and prescribe exercises to address the rotator cuff and parascapular muscles lacking strength.  An increase in strength results in dynamic control of the glenohumeral joint.  Once the pain intensities are abolished and the strength is normalized, an interval throwing program should be administered to re-introduce the athlete to competitive athletics.

Interval Throwing Program

A skilled Physical Therapist knowledgeable in the art of throwing mechanics can develop an interval throwing program tailored to his or her patient.  The purpose of the interval throwing program is to return motion, strength and confidence gradually to the throwing arm after injury.  The interval throwing program allows the patient the opportunity to reestablish timing, movement patterns, coordination and synchronicity of muscle firing before returning to competition.  It is of the utmost importance that communication is established between the athlete’s coach and the Physical Therapist to ensure compliance and proper execution of the program (1).

Joe and I at Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition have the knowledge and skill set to rehabilitate overhead throwing athletes and prescribe interval throwing programs to suit your patient’s needs.

(1)  Maxey, L. Magnusson, J. Rehabilitation For the Post-surgical Orthopedic Patient. 2001. Mosby, Inc.

 

Ed Kinsella P.T. D.P.T. Cert. MDT

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501

www.carusoptrd.com

609-738-3143