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National Physical Therapy Month: Learning More About This Type of Skilled Therapy

October 19, 2018

moose-lake-therapy-rehab-DSC_4030_web2.jpgBy guest blogger Matthew Mesibov, PT, GCS, Clinical Physical Therapy Specialist with Centrex Rehab

Founded in 2012 and owned by Augustana Care and other non-profit organizations, Centrex Rehab is a therapy company that provides rehab services to a diverse clientele in various settings. Operating on the mission of empowering people to live their best lives, Centrex Rehab is a leader in their field, an employer of choice, and supports the work of the organizations they serve. In recognition of National Physical Therapy Month, we reached out to Centrex Rehab and Matt Mesibov for some background on physical therapy.

Much like Augustana Care and now Augustana Elim Care Services, the profession of Physical Therapy has a long history and has been around for 100 years in the United States, with the first professionals known as Reconstruction Aides. Physical therapy has much to offer and partners well with our host facilities in terms of the rehabilitation of patients with various conditions as well as operationally when it comes to the evolving environment of health care policy and reimbursement.

Examples of how physical therapy has evolved clinically can be found on the website PTNow. This is a resource of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) where physical therapists and assistants can access the most current information pertaining to evidence-based research and clinical practice guidelines for a variety of conditions. As you can imagine, this resource would be of great help to physical therapists and their assistants as they work with patients and clients.

One example is strengthening. Physical therapists and assistants are knowledgeable in ways to appropriately dose the older adult with challenging resistance exercises, ensuring the outcome of getting stronger in a timely and expected time frame. The patient should always leave the therapy session feeling like they were challenged.

Another example is in the way physical therapists and assistants monitor progress and outcomes. Found in our use of functional outcome measures, these are “tests” which allow us to see how well a person is performing compared to other people in their age range or population categories (e.g. people who live independently in a community or those who live in long-term care). Among the variety of tests are:

  • measures of balance so that likely risk of falling can be predicted
  • walking speed so that likelihood of re-hospitalization can be predicted
  • measures which assess cardiovascular endurance in areas such as walking distance and compare to what would be expected in men or women of a similar age range
  • measures of strength

These clinical advancements help to educate the patient and client on their progress, help to progress and determine success of living independently at home and support the demand of valued-based care, a term synonymous with the planned changes for health care reimbursement.  

For the consumer, the APTA has a resource Move Forward PT which is a dedicated consumer site   loaded with easy to understand information on how a physical therapist can assist with a variety of conditions. It is also a way to get questions answered and a legislative support site which lets you advocate at the touch of a button to support health care legislation that is important to you. In fact, during the month of October which is National Physical Therapy Month, the website has a dedicated page on the treatment of chronic pain as well as how physical therapy is indicated as an alternative to opioid use.

If any of this information has spurred your desire to find out more, don’t hesitate to ask your Centrex Rehab physical therapist at any number of the Augustana Care transitional care sites or feel free to contact me at mmesibov@centrexrehab.org

May you have ease of movement and function well in your daily life!

Matt_Mesibov_Centrex_Rehab.jpgMatthew Mesibov, PT, GCS, Clinical Physical Therapy Specialist

Matt graduated from Ithaca College in New York State with a degree in Physical Therapy in 1984 and received the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialty certification in Geriatrics in 2008.

As part of the Centrex Rehab clinical team, Matt is responsible for providing clinical support to the physical therapists and physical therapy assistants at Centrex Rehab.  This may include shadowing, providing clinical education and support as well as program development in order to provide the best treatment interventions possible for a given patient. In addition to membership in the Minnesota Physical Therapy Association, Matt is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and several of its specialty sections and academies serving in various positions as an active volunteer leader.