Monthly Archives: November 2013

Getting Fit, Training but Without the Pain

ImageThe year’s end is coming up quickly, and people are looking toward the New Year with changes they want to make and goals they want to achieve.

The most common resolution in 2012 was to lose weight and exercise, but beginning a workout regimen without proper form and direction can lead to problems – especially if the exercise plan is too advanced for the person’s current physical state.

Physical therapy can help. By working with a PT to set an achievable goal, you can prevent injury while enhancing the physical health and functional abilities of the body. Physical therapists can identify and develop exercise plans tailored to an individual, while providing instruction on proper form—incorporating numerous components that are typically ignored when individuals simply “go to the gym.”

Physical therapy provides a practical solution to getting fit without the pain, while providing a workout that can enhance all components of being fit.

Flexibility

Flexibility training is one of the most important elements to a workout routine. Flexibility is important to prevent injury and muscle strains in tendons and to joints, and to improve range of motion. Flexibility exercises utilizing resistance bands and other equipment will increase range of motion, thereby allowing access to new muscle areas.

Strength Training

Physical therapy provides a smart approach to strength training by encouraging a variety of synergistic exercises rather than the “one-machine-fits-all method.” By focusing on exercises that target muscles across a wide range of motion, PTs can provide direction in achieving strength goals through scientific and calculated planning.

Cardio and Endurance

Developing an appropriate physical therapy routine will allow you to move from exercise to exercise efficiently without becoming overly exhausted. This allows an individual to benefit from a light cardio workout simultaneously. Incorporating a cardio component will gradually increase endurance, allowing more stringent exercise to be undertaken.

Balance and Stability

Physical therapy exercises can enhance core muscle groups, an important component to being fit and preventing future injury. Balance is not achieved by repetitive training on machines, but instead through a series of exercises that increase functionality of complementing muscles.

Be smart in your approach to any New Year fitness plan, and utilizing the benefits that a physical therapist can help guide you in achieving your goals.

Guest Blog: Unsteady Political Climate Immobilizes Therapists

Herb SilverIt is no secret that healthcare in the United States is undergoing fundamental changes, creating fluctuating and varied reactions from insurance companies and policy makers.

When coupled with the vulnerable economy and government sequestration, this creates a challenge for healthcare providers to learn and adapt to the quickly changing accounting and regulatory requirements.

The recent announcement by Physiotherapy Associates – a national physical therapy provider – on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings may be an indication of troubles other rehabilitation service providers in Georgia are or will be experiencing.

Earlier this year, Medicare cut reimbursements to physical therapy providers by 7 percent followed by additional arbitrary cuts as a result of the government sequestration. These cuts not only reduced the reimbursement rates physical therapists receive, but in an effort to adhere to the new standards, also created additional expenses on accounting services for many physical therapists. This double-whammy may have contributed to Physiotherapy Associates’ bankruptcy.

The new Medicare design and cuts have caused uncertainty and confusion for providers.

For example, Medicare reimburses one rate for the first 15 minutes of physical therapy, and the second 15 minutes is reimbursed at another further-reduced amount.

The Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) have taken action to ensure the voices of our physical therapists are heard on both the federal and state levels.

PTAG has addressed this, and other costly issues such as excessive co-pay, with Georgia legislators. PTAG also participated in the recent National Conference of State Legislatures Summit in Atlanta, where APTA representatives discussed a potential alternate payment system for 2015 that will save money for Medicare and the insurance industry while providing fair reimbursement to providers.

It is important that physical therapists continue to advocate to federal and state lawmakers the burdensome and financial effects associated with their policy changes. With healthcare being one of our nation’s most prominent social issues, now is the time for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to be proactive and continue strengthening our voice.

You can help in this effort by contributing to the Georgia Physical Therapy Political Action Committee and attending PTAG’s Physical Therapy Day at the Capitol on February 25, 2014. Stay tuned for additional details about this event!

Herb Silver, PT, DSc, MBA, ECS, OCS

Herb is President of Sensible Wellness Physical Therapy located in Buckhead, Atlanta. For additional information visit http://www.sensiblewellness.net/