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Therapy Department Celebrates

10/14/2016

The Therapy Services staff at Scotland County Hospital are celebrating National Physical Therapy Month.  The Department is staffed with six full time therapists and three part-time therapists.  These therapists offer physical, occupational & speech therapy six days a week to both in-patients that have been admitted to the hospital and out-patients as well as serving patients through home-health services in Scotland, Schuyler & Clark counties.  The Department also provides services to students at Scotland County R1 Schools.

Physical therapists are evidence-based health care professionals who offer cost-effective treatment that improves mobility and relieves pain, reduces the need for surgery and prescription drugs, and allows patients to participate in a recovery plan designed for their specific needs.

This year, the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) goal is to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription opioids and encourages consumers and prescribers to choose safer alternatives like physical therapy, consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines released in March 2016 urging nondrug treatment for most chronic pain conditions.  Over the past 15 years, increasing numbers of Americans have been prescribed opioids for pain management.  Sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999.  So have deaths related to prescription opioids.  

Physical therapists treat pain and improve function through movement and exercise without the risky side effects of opioids.  A physical therapist's individualized, hands-on approach engages the patient, making the patient an  active participant in her or his own recovery. Physical therapists are experts in improving mobility and motion.  Pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of daily life, your ability to earn a living, your ability to pursue your favorite leisure activities, and so much more.  While surgery and prescription drugs can be the best course of treatment for certain diagnoses, there is increasing evidence demonstrating that conservative treatments like physical therapy can be equally effective (and cheaper) for many conditions.

Movement is essential to physical activity, which is necessary to prevent obesity, which is responsible for at least 18% of US adult deaths.  Mobility is crucial for physical independence, and studies suggest that walking can reduce the risk of heart attack and strokehip fracture, and knee arthritis, among other benefits.  Consistent movement is vital to maintaining a healthy balance system, which can help prevent costly falls.

Low back pain is routinely over-treated despite abundant evidence that physical therapy is a cost-effective treatment that often avoids advanced imaging scans like MRIs that increase the cost of care and the likelihood for surgery and injections.  Physical therapy has proven as effective as surgery for meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritisrotator cuff tearsspinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease, among other conditions.

Physical therapists routinely work collaboratively with their patients.  Treatment plans can be designed for the patient's individual goals, challenges, and needs.  Receiving treatment by a physical therapist is rarely a passive activity, and participating in your own recovery can be empowering.  In many cases, patients develop an ongoing relationship with their physical therapist to maintain optimum health and movement abilities across the lifespan.

Meagan Weber, PT, DPT, is the Supervisor of the Therapy Services Department at Scotland County Hospital.  She earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rockhurst University and has been employed in the department since 2007.  Other full-time therapists are Carrie Hamner, Physical Therapist; Jennifer McMinn, Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapy Assistant; Katie Tuck, Occupational Therapist; Kerri Shirkey, Physical Therapy Assistant & Kendra Schlatter, Physical Therapy Assistant.  Part-Time staff are: Trinity Davis, Speech Therapist;   Ali Fromm, Speech Therapist and Matthew Wickert, Physical Therapist.

National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is a commemoration held each October by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  NPTM is designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people's lives.

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