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Physical Therapy: A Path to Perfect Health

Pramod Bhanti, Physical Therapist


It's such an old saying, so why do we not listen? It seems that so many of us, for no good reason, continually allow ourselves to be burdened with some form of pain. And when we eventually do seek a solution, more often than not, we do no more than resort to a pain- reliever: a "quick fix" drug or procedure. We numb our bodies to the pain, where we should actually be correcting the problem causing it. Ignoring the problem in this manner often results in us harming ourselves even more. By simply treating the symptoms of a problem and not attacking the cause, we only make the problem worse.

We all know that diet and exercise are essential if we are to remain healthy and feel young. Modern health care is now a system whereby we control what we put into our bodies and how we maintain them. We want to live longer, but at the same time we should also be able to live well, and sustain the high quality of life to which we have become accustomed, and which we deserve. And it is self-evident, that an essential stepping stone in the pathway to a high quality of life is to be able to move freely and without pain. This is where your Physical Therapist can help. The limitation of movement and the pain associated with movement are what your Physical Therapist specializes in correcting, evaluating the cause of the problem and consequently rendering the optimal cure. So if, like most of us, you've ever had persistent neck, back, shoulder or lower extremity pains, asking your doctor to refer you to a Physical Therapist is a sensible step forward. You may see a Physical Therapist without a doctor's referral.

Some Physical Therapists have training in the specialty of Orthopedic Medicine. Orthopedic medicine deals with the non-surgical treatment of moving parts of the body. Severe pain can be caused by tiny faults in muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage and this type of defect will unfortunately not show on an X-ray. Physical Therapists who have this specialty, use their knowledge of Orthopedic Medicine to evaluate and identify acute or prolonged impaired or painful movement, thus making its correction and future prevention all the more successful.

In the late 1920s, Dr. James Cyriax began working as a house surgeon in the Orthopedic Department at St. Thomas' Hospital, London. He became interested in the many patients who were in great pain but their x-rays showed no abnormalities. In such cases, the only indications of any sort of problem were pain and a limitation of movement, and surgery was consequently unwarranted and ineffectual. Programs of heat, massage and exercise were of limited use: then as now, they often ignored the root cause of the problem. Dr. Cyriax realized that effective and long-lasting treatment could not be administered to a patient unless a consistent system of diagnosing the problem was conceived. He developed a diagnostic method based on a theory of 'selective tension', where each respective body tissue was systematically checked. Still in use today, this technique may be utilized in order to identify a "vague pain" as a recognizable and treatable condition.

I have compared and contrasted many methods for dealing with the problem of Spine related pains and have found that Dr.Cyriax's method consistently produces the most outstanding results. His evaluative and analytical techniques form the essence of what we today refer to as Orthopedic Medicine.

In Certain Sates, only your Physician, Physician's Assistant, Dentist, Podiatrist, or Nurse Specialist, may refer you to a Physical Therapist for treatment. However, the evaluation of any patient's condition may be performed either by your Doctor, or your Physical Therapist, or both. And in any case, you retain the privilege of choosing your Physical Therapist. An evaluation can be performed at Comprehensive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services simply by calling 631-878-1771. From there, consultation between your Doctor, your Physical Therapist and you takes place, in order to secure the most effective treatment for you. A coordinated effort of this kind can now bring relief to thousands of people.

The goal of physical therapy is as personal to the individual as their pain. Patients may strive for independence and autonomy following a stroke. They may wish to free themselves of neck pain, leg or back pain, arthritis or to recover from an injury. Through the use of Dr Cyriax's method, manual therapy, mobilization and exercise, your physical therapist can help achieve your goals. Today, physical therapy is providing an expanding role for maintaining and improving our quality of life.

  1. Ask if the facility is owned and operated by a Physical Therapist.

  2. Ask if you can speak directly to the Physical Therapist rather than to a member of the office staff.

  3. Check if all treatment is rendered by a licensed professional only.

  4. Check if the Physical Therapist is licensed to practice physical therapy in New York State, by checking the web site of New York State Education Board.

  5. Ask the Physical Therapist if he is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Pramod Bhanti, PT, C.Ped. is the owner and director of Comprehensive Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Service, located at 5 Union Ave in Center Moriches. For further information call 631-878-1771. Further details about his services are available at his website: www.comprehensivept.com

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