By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
BAHAMIAN physical therapists stress the importance of their treatment, highlighting the amount of people who suffer from painful and debilitating conditions after an injury or illness.
Terrell Major, owner and physical therapist at Major Changes Rehab Center, said physical therapy treatment helps a person to regain mobility, which basically gives that person their independence again.
“For example, a person who has had a broken hip, we try to get them up and out of bed and back to being active again,” said Mr Major.
He said: “At the same time, we are teaching them the proper and safer ways to actually move around now.
For example an elderly person who has experienced a slip and fall, we assist them in showing them what to do step by step. One of my patients is in her nineties, she fell and broke her hip and now she is up and moving round. She is back at doing what she have to do in her everyday life.”
Mr Major said: “A lot of individuals who do suffer injuries, they have to depend on a person for the next three to six months and they get kind of fed up with that.”
He said it is important for individuals to seek physical therapy because it is a good form of exercise and it also helps them to stay flexible.
“We tend to train or teach individuals the proper mechanics of walking, lifting, exercising or even sitting down at work which is a part called ergonomics,” said Major.
“What I found here in the Bahamas is that persons think that physical therapy is mainly about massage therapy. And that is not so, it is not what we do,” said Mr Major.
Sharing her story about seeking physical therapy after experiencing a fractured ankle last May, Tamera Campbell said: “My foot was in a cast and after it came off, I realised I needed to seek therapy. I got treatment for about three months and I’ve been better ever since.
“I didn’t have any complaints and when Mr Major felt I was able to do more, he challenged me in terms of getting me mobile again. I feel like if you are suffering from something dramatic like a stroke or a fractured bone, you should also seek physical therapy so that you can get to where you need to be. I believe I would’ve still gotten better after my fracture, but the physical therapy helped it to move along a lot faster,” said Ms Campbell.
Mr Major said: “One of my patients, a seven year old boy who got choked while eating at school, he is now brain dead because there wasn’t anyone to resuscitate him. We have to increase his circulation and do respiratory therapy on him to make sure that mucus doesn’t build up in his system. All of that is a part of the exercise that we have to do as physical therapists.”
He added: “I have another patient, who is a 59-year-old lady who suffered a stroke. Her stroke was so severe that they had to amputate her feet, so now I’m in her life teaching her how to balance without the use of her legs. She only basically has her knees. We have to now train her to balance and walk again. We also deal with different kinds of acne of the skin. It is a very wide range that we deal with.”
Mr Major said the feedback he receives from his patients after therapy is rewarding.
“After finishing their course with me they still visit the clinic and continue to work because of the atmosphere. They can come in and continue their exercises in a space and environment with proper supervision.”
He said persons would sometimes mistake a physical therapy rehab centre for a gym because of the similarities.
“The difference is, we are more certified. So instead of just building muscle, what we do is try to give you the proper way to do certain things. We work more on stabilising, which are the smaller muscles that gives you a more well rounded muscle,” said Mr Major.