In recognition of National Physical Therapy Month, which is celebrated in October, Daniel Wolocko PT, SCS, CSCS, director of Mercy Elite Sports Performance, a member of St. Mary Mercy Livonia, recently answered some commonly asked questions about his profession and the service he and his colleagues provide the community.
1. What is physical therapy and who benefits from it?
Physical Therapy is division of allied health care that uses movement to improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.
2. What does a physical therapist do and what is their training?
Physical therapists examine both patients and clients to develop a plan of care with treatment to improve ability to move, reduce or manage pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists are doctoral-level college graduates from an accredited college or university physical therapy graduate school program.
3. What happens in a therapy session and how long does it last?
Most therapy sessions last from 30 to 60 minutes. Each session offers individualized attention from a physical therapist and assistive staff to assess present status, educate, support, and provide some form of treatment involving hands-on care, exercise, and movement activity.
4. How is Physical Therapy different than going to the gym or working out at home?
Physical therapists are licensed health care professionals. Physical therapists offer the highest level of specialized personal care for injuries, disabilities, or other health conditions that need treatment. The majority of physical therapy services are reimbursable through health care insurance.
5. What’s the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy (OT)?
Physical therapy primarily works to correct physical impairments through actions designed to improve overall bodily movement and mobility while reducing pain.
Occupational therapy works to overcome impairments by applying specific strategies and tasks to improve a patient’s ability to complete personal everyday functions.
6. In recognition of National Physical Therapy Month, is there any particular message you would like people to receive?
Having a trusted physical therapist to consult with for regular check-ups on your “movement hygiene” throughout the year, can provide a great boost to improve your overall health/wellness and injury reduction. Here at St. Mary Mercy Livonia, and across the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System region, the communities we serve are blessed to have access to these life improving services.