October is National Physical Therapy Month. So, what is PT?

(ProActive Sports Rehab offers a weekly column promoting health, fitness and physical therapy. Please be sure to check back each week for a new topic!)

Like so many other causes and professions, physical therapy has its own month to be recognized, and that month happens to be October. But what is physical therapy, and what can you expect when you enter a physical therapy office?

Jeff Kirchmyer, co-owner of ProActive Sports Rehab in West Seneca and Hamburg along with fellow physical therapist Anthony Goode, offers the following explanation.

“Physical therapy is a proven, evidence-based approach to managing or eliminating pain, improve mobility and strength, and return the patient to a normal level of function,” said Kirchmyer. “In many cases it can also help patients avoid surgery and return to work, sports, activities and their normal lifestyle much more quickly.”

Upon visiting a physical therapy office for the very first time, the patient will be examined by a licensed physical therapist who will then develop an individualized treatment plan, depending on the patient’s health problem. Physical therapists typically treat patients suffering from chronic or acute pain, or abnormalities due to sprains, strains, tears and fractures. PTs also frequently treat spinal and back-related conditions, tendinitis, overuse injuries, vertigo and more.

In addition to office visits, physical therapy patients are typically given a home exercise program to help speed their recovery.

“A good physical therapy office will take a team approach, keeping open the lines of communication between the physical therapist, patient and the patient’s primary physician,” Kirchmyer added. “The ultimate goal is to achieve patient independence and return the patient to a normal level of function.”

ProActive Sports Rehab, with offices in Hamburg and West Seneca, offers one-on-one physical therapy and rehabilitation services. For more information, please visit http://proactivesportsrehab.com or call 674-9600 (West Seneca office) or 648-8700 (Hamburg office). You can also follow ProActive Sports Rehab on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProActiveSportsRehab for frequent updates.