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Recognizing the Value of Physical Therapy

by Cmdr. Scott Mitchell, Inpatient Pediatric Physical Therapist, Alaska Native Medical Center

October is National Physical Therapy Month, a time to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of the profession of physical therapy and the benefits that it can provide to individuals and the public as a whole. The 2023 theme is “Value of PT” and there is a resource available to help spread this message. Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants provide patient-centered care that delivers true value and improves the health of society.

Physical therapy treatment is cost-effective and valuable for a wide range of clinical conditions. Physical therapist services can be an alternative to surgery, or complementary, as in the case of receiving physical therapist treatment after surgery for osteoarthritis. Physical therapist treatment after surgery, such as joint replacement, can maximize functional progress and improve quality of life for individuals.

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants work throughout the Indian Health Service to provide care to American Indian and Alaska Native communities and beneficiaries. Physical therapists are found in a variety of IHS settings including medical centers, inpatient settings, outpatient facilities, home health and rural health facilities. Some physical therapists within the IHS work alone in small clinics, while others are part of large multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams.

Many physical therapists in the Indian Health Service obtain advanced board certifications in orthopedics, geriatrics, sports physical therapy, pediatrics, clinical electrophysiology, wound management, women’s health, and neurology to provide advanced clinical practice skills to those they serve. Physical therapists treat a variety of health conditions including low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, falls prevention, pelvic health, traumatic brain injury, and cancer rehabilitation. They are essential members of the health care team.

Physical therapists design treatment plans that are designed to meet the specific needs, challenges, and goals of individuals. They can help you maximize your physical function and health. For more information visit Choose PT.

Cmdr. Scott Mitchell, Inpatient Pediatric Physical Therapist, Alaska Native Medical Center

Cmdr. Scott Mitchell is the inpatient pediatric physical therapist at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska, He is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and has worked for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps since 1999.