Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The New York Times and Physical Therapy

The New York Times has put together an impressive list of articles recently published and pertaining to physical therapy.

Here is the link.

There are some interesting ones such as Physical Therapy and the Camaraderie of Healing, which is a first-hand account from a patient who learned to respect physical therapy after a minor arthroscopic surgery with just a few incisions to repair a torn meniscus. A relatively common surgery, this can be a surprisingly frustrating and painful and debilitating surgery at first. Rehabilitation can be slow, but the prognosis for return to previous levels of activity is very, very good.

Another relates a woman's struggle to cope with losing the ability to walk after the progression of a rare neurological condition. The author discusses the frustrations of having to cope with a chronic illness, discover new ways to perform daily activities, and be grateful for every little gain that she makes.

I am currently deep into a summer internship at Spaulding Rehab in Medford, MA. Spaulding is consistently one of the top 5 rehab hospitals in the country every year. They have a very prestigious chronic pain of neurological etiology program that works wonders in many patients' lives. It allows them to manage the pain that has, in most cases, removed them entirely from their previous activities, brought on other complications such as depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, and psychosocial issues such as divorce or kinesiophobia. They return to functioning with good body mechanics, proper use of pain control modalities other than pain meds, and sometimes return to work and support themselves instead of remaining on disability.

Physical therapy is growing in respect nationwide because of the effects that patients report after an episode of physical rehabilitation care. It is exciting to see.