Tracy McClung | Munson Army Health Center Public Affairs
For soldiers suffering from pain in their shoulders, neck, back and knees, the time is now to seek help from Munson Army Health Center’s new Executive Wellness Physical Therapy Program.
Readiness, the No. 1 priority in the U.S. military, is significantly affected by musculoskeletal injuries and obesity. Musculoskeletal conditions are the leading reason why soldiers seek medical care, and the top risk factor decreasing the likelihood soldiers can deploy.
MAHC started a new physical therapy program in November 2016 to accompany the “Ready Soldier” campaign.
“We want to raise awareness of the impact of musculoskeletal injuries and obesity on military readiness,” said Capt. Lindsay B. Gordon, physical therapist and Executive Wellness Physical Therapy director.
Educating soldiers, service members and beneficiaries on the ins and outs of this program have already made a difference in soldiers getting the care they need. In addition, MAHC promotes the Performance Triad that focuses on sleep, activity and nutrition. MAHC has dedicated experts in each domain of the Performance Triad who can provide more individualized attention to patients who need more assistance.
“I decided to take advantage of the EWPT program after Captain Gordon came to our class and briefed us on how physical therapy can help improve our physical health” said Maj. Jeffery L. Hoover, Command and General Staff College student. “This program has already improved my overall flexibility and lowered my pain level in my neck, lower back, hips and feet. The range of motion in my neck has vastly improved, and I don’t have the dull pain in my lower back on a daily basis.”
The EWPT program also focuses on injury prevention, early detection and proper treatment of injuries. The majority of musculoskeletal injuries will resolve given the proper care.
“We see soldiers who continue to run on an ankle sprain or hurt knee, or continue to do push-ups on a hurt shoulder — this turns these injuries into more chronic conditions, and causes compensatory overuse conditions,” Gordon said.
MAHC recommends that beneficiaries see their primary care provider or physical therapist for any musculoskeletal condition right away so these injuries do not turn into a chronic problem.
“The EWPT program offers a custom holistic approach with guided workouts and the ability to schedule directly with Captain Gordon. This is very convenient, given the busy academic year as a CGSC student,” said Maj. Calvin Peterson, CGSC student. “I have already seen results in that my hip pain is completely gone. The hip pain was disrupting my sleep, which is why Captain Gordon tackled that issue first.”
In the future, Gordon will present a series of musculoskeletal education lectures to bring awareness to various common injuries and conditions that impact medical readiness.
Page 2 of 2 - “I’ve had back soreness for many years and have never been able to keep it from recurring. This program has identified why I have back issues, and Captain Gordon’s individualized program is helping to strengthen my back and core muscles. I am a victim of my own bad habits and this program is helping correct those habits,” said Maj. Eric Trovillo.
“The time is now to get any musculoskeletal injuries and other health issues treated so that they don’t become bigger issues that take soldiers out of the fight and impact readiness,” Gordon said.
MAHC beneficiaries can make a same-day appointment by calling 684-6250. For musculoskeletal injuries, a primary care provider can put in a referral to physical therapy. The physical therapy clinic now offers an acute care clinic twice a week.
For CGSC students and others, the Executive Wellness Physical Therapy Program is a way to take care of musculoskeletal concerns. For more information on the program, call 684-6156/6338.