Transitioning to Healthy Habits
By Jeffrey Humphrey, MPT, CHT
People of all ages, with many
different types of musculoskeletal problems, turn to physical therapy for help
in regaining function and range of motion. Whether you have had joint
replacement surgery, suffered a soft-tissue injury, are struggling with
arthritis, are injured at work or while playing sports, or have balance or gait
issues following an injury or stroke, physical therapy can be a tremendous
Specific exercises prescribed by a
physical therapist over the course of several visits will help you build
strength, flexibility, and agility, all of which can help you become more fit.
When you have made sufficient progress in your recovery and no longer need the services
of a physical therapist, the remaining challenge is to maintain the level of
activity you established during your therapy.
Making the transition
Many people completing physical
therapy find it beneficial to begin work immediately with an athletic trainer
or exercise physiologist. These fitness professionals can help you develop your
own routine of independent exercise. In this way you can maintain the gains you
made during physical therapy and establish a healthy lifelong habit of regular
exercise, which will reduce the likelihood that you’ll get hurt again.
Cayuga Medical Center offers a
transition program for people having physical therapy at the Island Health
Center and at the medical center’s Brentwood facility in Ithaca, off Warren
Road. Both the Island Health Center and Brentwood are spacious and fully
equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment. At either site, your
exercise physiologist can consult directly with your physical therapist to
understand what transpired during your physical therapy and to determine an
appropriate progression for your exercise routine. Additionally, the transition
program gives you a discount on your initiation fee at Island Health and
Helping student athletes
Cayuga Medical Center physical
therapists also work closely with school athletic trainers to provide
comprehensive services to student athletes. Sport-specific training is
available throughout the year at the schools, and also during the summer months
at the Brentwood site, to help athletes prepare for their upcoming sports
seasons. Students who were injured previously, who are working hard to avoid
injury, or who just want to get better in their sport can get one-on-one
training with a certified athletic trainer.
Right now, the Department of Sports
Medicine and Athletic Training at Cayuga Medical Center provides athletic
training services to the high schools in Ithaca, Cortland, Lansing, Newfield,
Spencer, Moravia, Watkins Glen, Trumansburg, Whitney Point, Odessa, and
Marathon. In addition to helping students prepare for the season, athletic
trainers are on hand to assess injuries as they occur during practice and play.
If a student athlete needs to be seen by a sports medicine physician or a
physical therapist, our athletic trainers can facilitate this quickly. This
continuum of care helps injured athletes return to their sport as quickly and
safely as possible.
Jeff Humphrey, MPT, CHT, is a
supervisor in Cayuga Medical Center’s Department of Physical Therapy, Sports
Medicine, and Athletic Training and is certified in hand therapy, ergonomic
assessment, and functional capacity evaluation. He is located at the Brentwood Physical
Therapy Office at 10 Brentwood Drive, Suite A, just off Warren Road, Ithaca. He
can be reached at (607) 274-4159.