The ART of choosing your Physical Therapist

Brian KinmartinPhysical Therapists are specialty Healthcare Professionals educated in the evaluation and treatment of the human body including movement dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. They are skilled in a variety of treatments for the human body ranging from everyday common joint sprains and muscle pulls, chronic pain syndromes, arthritic conditions and even advanced neurological diseases. The current entry level degree of a Physical Therapist is a clinical Doctorate (DPT).

Like many Healthcare fields the practice act and scope of practice for Physical Therapists is so large many have chosen to specialize. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the national professional organization established a specialist certification program for Physical Therapists. Clinical specialization in physical therapy responds to a specific area of patient need and requires knowledge, skill, and experience exceeding that of the physical therapist at entry to the profession and unique to the specialized area of practice. The specialist certification program was established to provide recognition of physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the health care community in identifying these Physical Therapists. The most common outpatient specialization is a board certification in orthopedics (OCS). These credentials establish that a therapist has achieved special recognition in his clinical practice and knowledge base in orthopedic care.

Clinical practice setting is also extremely important when choosing your Physical Therapist. Generally Physical Therapists in private practice settings compared to those in other settings, including large corporate chains and hospital based settings are better educated, are more up to date with current techniques and are more specialized in areas of treatment. This is simply because as in any medical practice those clinicians that have chosen the path of private practice have to excel in their areas of expertise in order to provide the best patient care insuring the existence of their referrals and their practice. Private practices are built upon a referral system that reflects to referring physicians and patients; competence, results, and the best standard of care. A successful private practice is proof of all of this.

Professional Rehabilitation Services, is a group of Therapist Owned Private Practice Outpatient Physical Therapy Facilities in; Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, Conway, and Little River, SC. The primary goal of all Professional Rehab facilities is to excel throughout the communities, bonding together with the best practitioners, assisting our patient’s rehabilitation needs by specializing in the field, raising the standard of care in the region and maximizing our patient outcomes. In addition to being licensed Physical Therapists, our providers have additional specialty certifications and training in Active Release Therapy (ART), orthopedics, manual therapy, sports therapy, strength and conditioning, vestibular treatment, and dry needling.

Recently Professional Rehab has invested a significant amount of time and capital in their practitioners in order to introduce a new form of therapy to the region. This therapy is better known as Active Release Therapy (ART). ART is a state of the art soft tissue technique developed by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Much of the damage caused to these tissues is a result of overuse injuries, acute muscle pulls, micro-trauma which is an accumulation of small tears over time, and hypoxia, which is a tissue state where the damage tissue is not getting enough oxygen to fully heal. This damage can cause the body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the damaged region which binds up and does not allow the tissues to move freely during activities. This process can lead to forms of tendonitis and nerve entrapments, resulting in pain, reduced range of motion and loss of strength.

Each ART session by your therapist is a combination of examination and treatment. The therapist uses their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. From this they determine which tissue are dysfunctional and the need for treatment is established. Treatment is performed by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements in order to restore normal motion to the involved tissues. Once the tissues have returned to normal, conventional therapy is used combining exercise science and neuromuscular re-education into functional based activities to help return the patient to sport or their previous activity level. Clinically introducing Active Release Therapy into our practices has significantly improved our results and outcomes. The patient feedback has been incredible.

Statistically eight out of ten people throughout their lifetime will need some type of physical rehabilitation. So, if you find yourself in this position and have to choose a Physical Therapist, remember you have the right under law to choose your location and your practitioner. So why not choose a Private Practitioner, they are the most educated and specialized, ensuring that you are receiving the most current and individualized treatment, maximizing your rehabilitation potential and making sure you achieve the best possible therapeutic outcome.

For further information on this or other related topics you can contact Brian P. Kinmartin PT, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, STC, CWcHP, Cert. DN, (Pawleys Island) (843) 235-0200, Richard A. Owens, PT, MS, OCS, Cert. SMT, CWcHP, Cert DN (Surfside) (843) 831-0163, Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP, Cert. DN (Myrtle Beach) (843) 839-1300, Jill Phelan, DPT, Cert DN (Conway) (843) 733-3031, Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP, Cert. DN (Little River) (843) 281-4222, at Professional Rehabilitation Services or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com where you can learn more about the company and even download a referral form for your physician to fill out. You can also call and schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation!

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