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October is national physical therapy month

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After illness or surgery, rehabilitation by a physical therapist is often essential for a successful recovery. National Physical Therapy Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the important role that physical therapists play in helping patients recuperate after an illness or injury, decrease pain, improve mobility and function and learn how to engage in safe and healthy activities.

The physical therapists of Home Health VNA are highly-skilled, licensed health care professionals who are expert at meeting all the rehabilitation needs of patients in the comfort of their own homes. Their focus is on helping patients with everyday activities – moving safely in and out of bed, getting up and down from a chair, walking or negotiating stairs, ramps and curves. They also provide a variety of treatments to help control or alleviate acute and chronic pain. And, they work with patients to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing exercise routines to help patients stay strong as they age. Their goal is to help patients achieve and maintain their best level of physical health possible.

One important factor in achieving and maintaining good health at any age is regular physical activity,” said Martha McClure PT, DPT, CLT, COS-C, physical therapist at Home Health VNA. “If you have never been active, starting a regular physical activity routine now may improve your endurance, strength and balance to prevent future health problems and help you heal more quickly if you become ill or injured.”

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Contact your doctor for a referral for a physical therapy evaluation. If you are already experiencing mobility problems that are stopping you from starting a regular physical activity program or are just not sure how to get started, physical therapists are uniquely qualified to assess your situation and help you to get started in the right direction!
  2. Be active at least 30 minutes per day and make it a habit for life. Regular exercise today is a great way to keep serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes out of your future.
  3. Start small. Pick an activity you enjoy and start with small, specific goals, such as “I will take three 10-minute walks this week.” Slowly increase the total amount of time and number of days you are active.
  4. Join a club. Many local senior centers have walking clubs and exercise programs geared specifically for older people who want to stay fit. Whatever the activity, doing things in a group will keep you accountable and provide opportunities for social interaction.

 
Much more information is available through the American Physical Association (APTA). In recognition of national physical therapy month, the APTA has launched “The AgeWell” campaign built around the idea that while some effects of aging are inevitable, many symptoms and conditions commonly associated with growing older can be delayed – and in some cases prevented – and that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can play a vital role in transforming the aging process. Several resources are available to consumers including 9 Physical therapist tips to help you, tips for each decade as you age, and a podcast interview with a physical therapist at www.moveforwardpt.com.

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