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  • October is Physical Therapy Month

    September 25, 2017

    At Three Rivers Health, every year we are very excited when the month of October comes around. National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is an annual opportunity to recognize the physical therapy profession’s efforts to “transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” This year in October we are planning on weekly community education talks to help the public learn about different ways physical therapy can be helpful to you.  Physical Therapy can significantly improve mobility to perform daily activities, help provide an alternative to painful and expensive surgery and in many cases, manage or eliminate pain without medication and its side effects.

    Physical Therapists are movement experts who treat people of all ages and abilities, helping them improve and maintain function and quality of life. Physical Therapists combine their extensive education, clinical experience and the latest research to create treatment plans tailored to your needs. Your physical therapist will create an individual plan to match your personal goals, helping improve your fitness and function and allow you to become a partner in your own care. Currently physical therapy graduates complete a doctorate of physical therapy degree.

    Physical Therapists assistants are educated and licensed clinicians who work under the direction and supervision of the physical therapists. They must complete rigorous academic and a clinical education associate degree program. Both PTs and PTAs must pass a national licensure exam and be licensed by the state.

    Last year, Michigan state law passed legislation that allowed direct access to physical therapy. This means you do not need a physician’s referral to make an appointment with a physical therapist for an evaluation. Also state law requires only a licensed physical therapists can perform and charge for physical therapy and treatments. Because some insurance plans do require a physician referral, it is important to contact your insurance company to check your individual plan coverage for physical therapy benefits.

    The clinicians at Outpatient Physical Therapy at Three Rivers Health; Katharine L Gaj, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, ATC, Ryan Fedore, DPT, Michael Bylsma, PT, DPT, Nitin Udhawani, PT MS, C-OMT, CIDN, LSVT, David Ritzenthaler, PT, DPT and Kelly Haseman, PT, DPT can provide evaluations and treatment to help provide improved movement for many conditions that may be affecting your quality of life, your ability to earn a living and your independence. Our therapists have special interests and certifications in orthopedics, sport injuries, vestibular and vertigo conditions, Parkinson’s treatment by utilizing LSVT method, therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, IASTM, foot orthotics and aquatic therapy. The care in your physical therapy program will be supported by our PTAs; Jennifer Finnerman, PTA, Natalie Ford, PTA, Amber Lederman, PTA and Derek Adams, PTA.  After completing your therapy sessions, you will leave our clinic with your individually designed home exercise program for continued improvement and the ability to maintain your newly gained improved health status.

    If you would like to obtain more information about physical therapy and our program at Three Rivers Health, feel free to call Outpatient Therapy manager-Dr. Katharine L. Gaj, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, ATC at 269-273-9682 or 269-278-4511 ext. 285.