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Physical Therapy Q and A with Jill Botnick, director of FirstHealth Moore Regional's Outpatient and Regional Rehab programs

| Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Jill Botnick, Director of FirstHealth Moore Regional's Outpatient and Regional Rehab programs, answers some of the most frequently asked physical therapy questions. Do you have a question you would like to ask Jill? Leave your question here on our blog or on one of our social sites!

Q: Is Physical Therapy a good first choice before surgery for meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis?

It can be. According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, there was no significant difference between individuals who received surgery and those who received physical therapy alone, thus avoiding the unnecessarily invasive procedure and related costs. Learn about physical therapist treatment of meniscal tears and osteoarthritis of the knee.

Q: I’ve been told to exercise to better my health, but it is so painful for me. What are my options?

This scenario seems like a double edged sword. However, it doesn’t have to be. Physical Therapists treat a variety of conditions that cause pain and are well trained in the science behind it. One medium that may be helpful is the aquatic environment. When a part of the body is in water (in a pool for example), the weighting effects of gravity are reduced. Many times this buoyancy eliminates or reduces pain, so the benefits of movement can occur. Don’t worry, you do not have to be a swimmer to participate in aquatic therapy. Often simple walking or focused movements in waist height water can be effective. Many of our FirstHealth Rehab facilities have pools where aquatic therapy is available. Here are other ways Physical Therapists can assist in helping you with your painful condition. 

Q: My balance and fear of falling has limited my mobility. What types of treatment can help me?

It is shocking to hear that about one third of people over the age of 65 and almost half of people over the age of 80 will fall at least once this year. Recognizing that you are at risk and that you have a fear of falling are great first steps. Evidence now strongly shows that certain types of balance exercise programs can reduce a person’s risk of falling and improve their mobility. Believe it or not, a simple walking program is not one of them.

Fortunately, FirstHealth PT staff at our Aviemore Drive Center in Pinehurst, are trained in a proven program called Otago Falls Prevention Program. This program, which has been extensively tested, when done correctly has been shown to reduce fall risk by 35-40 percent. Talk to your doctor about your fall risk and ask if a referral to physical therapy may help you.


For any part of the body that ails you (neck, shoulder, back, knee), our physical therapists can help you ease the pain and improve your quality of life. If you are recovering from surgery, or if an injury has you down, a physical therapy program can help you move freely again, feeling renewed and ready to get back to things you enjoy.

Because physical therapists receive specialized education in a variety of sciences, they know how the body works. As they assess your individual condition, they develop a personalized plan of care to meet your needs and restore your function.

For more information on FirstHealth Outpatient Rehabilitation or physical therapy,

call (910) 715-1600 or click here.


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