Christopher Petrosino, PT, Ph.D. is the Chair of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Professor Petrosino recently shared with us his thoughts on physical therapy, and in particular, how it can benefit seriously injured people.

Thank you for your time, Professor.  What is a doctor of physical therapy and what are some of the areas of educational training?

Doctors of Physical Therapy are health care professionals that help people improve their quality of life through prevention or physical rehabilitation of injuries or illnesses.

Christopher PetrosinoIn their 6-7 years of college education, Physical Therapists (PTs) become licensed to care for people of all ages and abilities, from pediatric to geriatric, and in all health settings from prevention to rehabilitation to performance enhancement. They are trained to examine, evaluate, diagnose, prognose, and provide intervention to improve the function of all body systems.  PTs are best known for working with the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems to improve function.

What are the different types of physical therapy treatments available to people who have been injured?

Treatment depends upon the needs of the person seeking the care of a PT. Some patients may need for pain reduction, strengthening, flexibility, stability, balance, or other PT interventions to recover to their full potential. All PTs are trained in hands-on techniques to assist in healing and are experts in educating patients on how to place the injured area in the best environment for the body to heal.

Depending on the type of injury, are there specific physical therapy techniques that are more beneficial than others?

PTs use a variety of different techniques to help the body heal, dependent upon the injury or illness. PTs have many “tools” in their treatment “toolbox” in order to provide the appropriate technique at the appropriate time for most injuries. They are also prepared to differentially diagnose a patient to make sure that PT is the right profession to care for the injury or to determine a need for care from another medical professional. Many PTs seek further specialization or board certification in specific areas of PT like orthopedics, neurological PT, sports, geriatrics, pediatrics, or others to provide focused, specialized care to patients with specific types of injuries for their age and activity levels.

What advice would you give to people who have been injured regarding how they can contribute to their own physical recovery?

Seek a consultation with a PT soon after injury.  Once the PT provides an examination, evaluation, and develops a plan of care adhere to your individualized plan.  The PT and PT Aide will monitor the right amount of activity for you, for your stage of healing. Follow the PT’s advice closely. Doing too much or too little of what has been advised can hinder recovery time and healing.

Is there anything else that you would suggest for people who require physical therapy treatment for personal injury recovery?

Ask questions, keep asking until you understand, and work with your PT to develop a treatment plan that you will follow each day to recovery.

Pro Tip:   Personal injury cases that involve significant injuries sometimes require the services of a physical therapist who can help in the speed of your convalescence for a variety of accident cases. Should you have any questions about your Connecticut accident case, please contact us.