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

Community Columnist

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. They treat post-operative joints, sports injuries, arthritis, and amputations, as well as other injuries and conditions affecting the muscles, bones, ligaments or tendons of the body. Joint mobilizations, strength training, hot and cold packs as well as electrical stimulation are often used to speed recovery

Neurological Physical Therapy

Neurological physical therapists work with individuals who have a neurological disorder or disease. These include Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and stroke. Common problems of patients with neurological disorders include paralysis, vision impairment, poor balance, difficulty walking and loss of independence. Therapists work with a patient’s healthcare team designing a treatment plan to improve these areas of dysfunction.

Pediatric Physical Therapy

Pediatric physical therapy assists in early detection of health problems as well as the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infants, children, and adolescents with a variety of injuries, disorders and diseases that affect the muscles, bones, and joints. Treatments focus on improving gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, strength and endurance, and cognitive and sensory processing and integration

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation physical therapists treat people with cardiopulmonary disorders as well as those who have had cardiac or pulmonary surgery. Primary goals of this specialty include increasing patient endurance and functional independence.

Physical Therapy for the Elderly

Physical therapy addresses numerous issues that concern people as they go through normal adult aging. These include arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hip and joint replacement, compromised balance, and incontinence. Physical therapists who work with the elderly develop individualized programs to help restore mobility, reduce pain, improve balance and increase overall fitness.

In Oscar’s Track, I’ll be focusing on some of the issues that commonly affect many of us. I’ll be talking about injury prevention and stress-reduction in our workplaces, common sports injuries and how to treat and avoid them in our recreational activities, new and proven therapies to reduce pain and manage stress without drugs injuries and conditions relating to aging: what they are, ways they can be treated, and tips to prevent them, benefits of physical therapy in weight management and managing diabetes in children and adults, among other topics.

My goal for this column is to provide timely, interesting and practical information that will help you and your families stay healthy and fit, naturally. From babies, to boomers, and beyond — you can be fit at every age!

Oscar Soto is a licensed physical therapist and the owner of Back On Track Physical Therapy & Wellness Center in Cazenovia. He can be reached at 655-5453 or backontrack@windstream.net.

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