October being observed as National Physical Therapy Month

by Amy Robinson, P.T., Director of Rehabilitation, Veterans Memorial Hospital

1. What is Physical Therapy Month?
The month of October is Physical therapy month, and it’s a time when physical therapists and physical therapist assistants educate communities about who we are and what we do.

2. What can physical therapists do to help with obesity?
Physical therapists play dual roles in our nation’s fight against overweight and obesity. Our first role is in the area of prevention. Therapists can help develop fitness plans and promote the ability for adults and kids to move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disabilities that are a result of being overweight.

Our second role is to work with people who are already overweight by prescribing specific exercises for joint protection and safety during exercise. A lot of overweight people have experienced certain failures with exercise, so a therapist can help set up realistic exercise programs that don’t cause a lot of pain.

3. How does physical activity help people become more healthy?
Studies show that higher levels of physical activity are associated with fewer heart problems, less diabetes, and decreased obesity. Higher death rates from all disease are associated with low fitness levels. If you’re sedentary and can increase your activity level to walking just two miles per day, three days per week, you will dramatically decrease your risk for both heart disease and diabetes.

As physical therapists, we encourage everyone to get moving and start exercising regularly because it has so many benefits to your body.

For more information, contact the Rehabilitation Department at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon at 563-568-3411.

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