The Importance Of Physical Therapy In The Military

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The field of physical therapy has been largely influenced by social civil occurrences. A large impact on this field is credited to the various wars throughout the United States history, allowing for the advancement maturation of this young field. Wartime conflicts placed a demand for healing of injured soldiers, the field of physical therapy providing the supply. This field has adapted throughout the years, a resiliency that has earned respect in the health care realm (Echternach, J. L. (2003). Foundational interventions of physical therapy such as therapeutic exercise, mobility training, range of motion, and more owe their roots to physical therapy in the military. The proven success of these therapies emerged during periods of war, and carried…show more content…
Canty. This facility rehabilitated over 2500 military amputation patients (Dillingham, T. R. (2002). A key concept learned during this time was that the sooner rehabilitation efforts began the better for the outcome of the patient. Physical therapists assisted the patients in bed mobility4. Group support meetings were held to help those affected deal with the psychological trauma that often accompanies their injury. With improvement came progressed interventions and prosthetic use for gait training (Dillingham, T. R. (2002). Advancement in modern military medical care prevented many deaths during the Vietnam War. From 1966 to 1970 at Da Nang Naval Hospital, 87% of the thousands of soldiers treated there recovered and returned to service (Dillingham, T. R. (2002). Statistics like this support the success a physical therapist and well-rounded medical team can have in even the most doubtful situations. At Fitzsimons General Hospital, over 500 amputees received care (some with more than one amputation) (Dillingham, T. R. (2002). . Documentation of these treated soldiers noted the difficulty of prosthetic training prior to rehabilitation interventions. This was another instance where early therapeutic efforts made patient progress more efficient and timely. Soldiers were treated in rehabilitation before being sent to the VA hospital and receiving a prosthetic device (Dillingham, T. R.…show more content…
Therapists gave much attention to functional outcomes for normal tasks. Activities of daily living (ADLs) were very important goals for amputee patients so that they could have as much control over their lives and independence as possible (Dillingham, T. R. (2002). . This had a profound effect on their mental healing as well as physical. The Fitzsimons General Hospital even had an unusual therapeutic intervention where the amputee patients would participate in skiing. Using special assistive equipment, over 100 amputee soldiers were able to ski (Dillingham, T. R. (2002) . This opened a door that not only grew the patients’ confidence but encouraged them to continue to push beyond their perceived boundaries and participate in aquatic and other leisure activities. This program dedicated treatment to more than just the physical healing, and focused on patient healing as a whole (Dillingham, T. R.
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