HEALTH REPORT: Physical Therapy

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Alaskans are prone to winter injuries such as falling on ice, accidents in outdoor sports, or even shoveling snow.
In this week's health report, we learn about how physical therapy can help people reduce pain, avoid surgery, and maximize mobility and motion.
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Injuries can put a damper on your day to day life. Physical therapy is often one of the best choices you can make when you have a long-term issue.
Ruth Carson; Physical Therapist>>: "You know, all of us have had back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and so we see a lot of people who looking to improve their pain for sure but also improve their function for preventive reasons also so they don't have to go down the surgical route."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Physical therapists are movement specialists. They help patients regain their original functions with guided treatment using low impact aerobics, strengthening exercises and stretching.
Ruth Carson; Physical Therapist>>: "So it's one thing to do exercise, but we want to apply it to what you do. So if you are a bowler and you want to get back to bowling, then I should be mimicking some exercising or some function in the clinic that allows you to do that."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent an injury.
Ruth Carson; Physical Therapist>>: "Find something you love and be consistent about doing it. I do think as we mature it's important to stay strong also and when you're young too but I think sometimes as we mature we don't always think about the strengthening aspect and that's super important."
Katie Luper; Reporting>>: She suggests exercising 4-5 days a week for strength and flexibility, but it's important to ease in to it.
Ruth Carson; Physical Therapist>>: "Another piece is that cardio vascular. You want to stay moving but you also want to stay moving in the sense that you get your heart rate up a little bit. I think that's super important for our tissue, keeps it healthy. You know that blood has lots of wonderful things and without getting our heart rate up, were not taking advantage of that as much as we should."
I'm Katie Luper, reporting.