5 Benefits of Physical Therapy
1.) Improved mobility : You will have greater flexibility and freedom to move as you like through targeted mobilizations and stretches that are catered specifically to you and your problem.
2.). Strength gains: You will have improved strength and control during simple and complex functional tasks by addressing the correct muscle groups.
3.) Decreased Pain and discomfort: With an increase in range of motion and strength, you will have less inflammation of tissues and decreased pain. This decreases the need for long term pain medication use and it's potential side effects.
4.) Have tools to manage symptoms: Physical therapy is unlike chiropractic work or massage therapy, because we encourage active participation in wellness through education. Education of posture, a specific home exercise program catered to you, and information on how to best deal with your condition.
5.) Do what you love to do without restriction: Improving flexibility and strength, as well as decreasing pain and providing intentional education allows for you to return to activities that you love with decreased discomfort and fear.
The vision statement for the American Physical therapy Association is "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience." That is my role and my wish to share with society. We are only here for so long, so why not enjoy the treasures that life can offer?
What does a physical therapist (PT) do? I wanted to address this, because I am not sure enough people know exactly what PTs can do to help. Our job is to reduce a client's pain and improve or restore full mobility through hands-on techniques, individualized exercise programs, and education to prevent or manage their condition. We work on everything from head to toe that is musculoskeletal in origin. Some of the most common problems include rotator cuff issues, and neck or back pain. Both acute, or chronic issues can both benefit from a proper treatment plan. Treatment often allows clients to avoid costly surgery or the need for prolonged use and side effects from pain medication. We promote life-long health benefits by promoting fitness or wellness oriented programs that allow you to be more active.
How do we do all of this? First off, we are highly-educated and licensed health care professionals. I went to Ithaca College for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, graduating with a Doctorate of physical therapy. Graduating from an accredited university is a prerequisite prior to sitting for an intensive state licensure exam that you must pass in order to practice. Then, one of the most important parts, we evaluate each client as an individual, gathering a history of their health and current symptoms. Evaluations typically start out similar to an interview delving into what is going on, how long it has been going on, what makes symptoms better or worse, etc.. We will then proceed to a systems review, palpate tissues and joints, screen strength, range of motion, and functional mobility. If problems are apparent, special tests can be performed, which allow a physical therapist to be able to confirm a diagnosis. For example tenderness to lateral or outer joint line of the knee alone has been shown to be very accurate in diagnosing meniscal injuries. Between the history and evaluation we are able to have a really good idea of the diagnosis without the need for MRI. After the area of dysfunction is determined then our education on tissues and their healing processes as well as medical conditions sets us apart in prescribing a specific and appropriate plan of care for each individual. Goals are set for each client's needs and desires so we can get them back to doing what they want. To stay on top of our game, it is required that physical therapists take continuing education classes every year, not only to maintain our license but to stay most current with new techniques and research.
Until now, physical therapists typically work in the hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation settings, in schools with children, outpatient clinics and with home health agencies. Pioneer PT introduces a new delivery of treatment via a mobile "outpatient" clinic that makes treatment easier and more private for the client, all while giving the best one-on-one care possible. No longer will you have to have the extra hassle to find a ride when you are unable to drive or take the extra time out of your day to travel to an outpatient setting. Pioneer PT travels to you whether your home, office, or wherever we deem fit. You also won't be crammed into an outpatient setting where you spend very little time with the actual physical therapist before being passed off to a technician who solely trained on the job. Clients will receive a full hour of one-on-one care with a doctor of physical therapy. Pioneer PT will fill the gaps where traditional delivery of care is lacking.
Hope to see some of you soon, so we can restore your movement and fuel your passions!
How Pioneer PT Began
I know some of you may be wondering, "What the heck is that picture, and how does it relate to physical therapy?" In short, this is a picture from my once in a lifetime trip that got the wheels spinning. However, after contemplating the question a bit longer, everything in my life has brought me to this point of launching the first of it's kind on-demand physical therapy clinic with a doctor of physical therapy that travels directly to the client.
Years before I knew I wanted to be a physical therapist, I had a sense of small business instilled into me ever since I was a kid. Both my mother's and father's parents owned small businesses. My grandmom on my mom's side owned both a flower shop in OCMD, and a clothing store in Towson, while my grandfather owned a successful door manufacturing business. However, my father's family business, Dulkerian's Persian Rug Co., dulkerianspersianrugco.com, made the largest impact on my life as I helped my dad every summer growing up while school was out. My grandmother repaired rugs for years, while my dad took over for my grandfather. Getting up and commuting an hour into Baltimore every day to wash dirty rugs for a living will definitely make you humble. However, it was something I was proud of. Dad worked so hard to support his family and to help people out. He has always made it more convenient for customers with pick ups, deliveries, and sales directly to his customers out of his blue work van.
I found physical therapy in my junior year of high school, and I knew it was what I wanted to do for my career. I also knew that this career would allow me a chance to one day own my own business. I worked hard and ended up going to Ithaca College to study physical therapy. This was when I met the most influential person in my young career: my professor Ernie Nalette. He always talked about the profession of physical therapy and how it truly was in the real world. He became a mentor influencing me to question the status quo, and to want better for my patients. Physical therapy should not be an assembly line, packing as many people as possible into a day. I took his advice to heart, but worked on honing my skills for just about the past 10 years, becoming very proficient in hands-on techniques.
I have continually seen decreases in reimbursement from insurance companies forcing physical therapists to see more people, and increasing deductibles or co-pays for clients. I wanted something better. This was about the time I took a once in a lifetime trip along the California coastline camping, surfing, and hiking along the way via a 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon named Lone Star from Vintage Surfari Wagons, www.vwsurfari.com. Thank goodness we were not there during the mudslide this past year, because that was the same stretch of road in the Big Sur that we boondocked for the night to watch the sunset over the cliffs. I would highly recommend this drive at least once in your lifetime. Anyway, this was the time I began to realize that it may be possible to create a mobile clinic that I could take directly to clients, with everything I need inside to provide the best quality physical therapy. I made it my mission, putting in a lot of hard work preparing the business, even traveling all the way to the Lone Star State to purchase my big blue van. From scratch, I built out my van into a physical therapy office on wheels thanks to a lot of help from my family. Pioneer PT was born, and now I hope to help as many folks as I can by providing the best possible care directly to you!
James Dulkerian, DPT
Active outdoorsman with an honest soul and a passion for health.