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Oscar’s Track: An introduction to the field of physical therapy

Community Columnist

— Welcome to “Oscar’s Track.” This is the first in a series of columns on topics of fitness and health.

Writing this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve finally stopped procrastinating and, with the help of the Cazenovia Republican, it’s now a reality.

My name is Oscar Soto. I am a New York state licensed physical therapist and the owner of Back On Track Physical Therapy & Wellness Center. I’ve worked as a sports trainer, fitness coach, physical education instructor and physical therapist here in the United States, in Argentina and Peru. In 2009 I opened my practice in Cazenovia, and I quickly fell in love with this community and its people.

During more than 30 years in practice, I have treated many patients with injuries and painful chronic conditions. Often these conditions could have been reduced in severity or prevented altogether. Many times, sports injuries can be avoided with proper physical conditioning.

A small change in the home environment can reduce accidents and injuries. Prompt rehabilitation after surgery promotes proper healing and full recovery. Increased fitness helps in the management of conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The reason I want to write this column is to share with you current information that can help you stay healthy and fit, recover from injury, prevent future injury, relieve pain without drugs, and manage the challenges of aging.

Let me start by telling you a little about physical therapy. Physical therapy is a healthcare specialty that includes the evaluation, assessment and treatment of individuals with limitations in functional mobility. Physical therapists are professionals licensed by the state in which they work. They are required to have a master’s degree or a clinical doctorate degree from an accredited institution and must sit for a licensing exam to practice. As in other branches of medicine, there are many specialty areas in the field of physical therapy. Here is a brief description of the five most common specialties:

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