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7/12/17 5:19 PM


Julie Berube, PT, DPT, of Syracuse, New York, was awarded the professional designation of board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy (OCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).


To obtain board certification, candidates must submit evidence of 2000 hours of clinical practice in one of nine specialty areas: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Oncology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, Sports, and Women’s Health Physical Therapy. In addition, candidates must successfully complete a rigorous examination, demonstrating specialized knowledge and advanced clinical proficiency in a specialty area of physical therapist practice. As of 2016, approximately 5% of PT’s in the United States are board certified in orthopaedics, and Julie joins only 2.5% of physical therapists in New York State with an OCS certification.


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Written by Lauris Rigdon, PT.

Topics: physical therapist

What is a Physical Therapist Qualified to Treat?

5/19/17 3:27 PM

Like most professions, physical therapy continues to evolve as a profession. It is now a 6 year doctorate program. Within that time, we learn to treat people with orthopedic conditions, neurological impairments, cardiac issues, amputations, vestibular issues and more. Physical therapists are trained to work with newborns to geriatrics and everyone in between. After graduation, we have to pass a national test to become licensed to practice. To keep our license active, we have to complete 36 hours of education every 3 years. This is where we can choose courses to better ourselves in our specific setting and learn the most modern techniques! Below is a general (but not inclusive) list of conditions we treat in outpatient physical therapy:

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Written by Courtney Ryer, PT.

Courtney is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Baldwinsville office.

Topics: physical therapist

What is a Physical Therapist, Anyway?

1/27/15 4:37 PM
A Physical Therapist is defined as a health professional primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention.

What do they do for their patients?

A Physical Therapist evaluates components of movement including:
  • Strength
  • Range of Motion
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Posture
  • Body Mechanics
  • Coordination
  • Endurance 
  • General Mobility

After evaluation, a Physical Therapist will develop a treatment program unique to each individual patient to help decrease deficits and restore function. The Physical Therapists of Onondaga Physical Therapy in Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Cicero AND Liverpool all complete these assessments during an hour long, one-on-one evaluation.

What are the education requirements to be a Physical Therapist?

Physical Therapists are highly trained medical professionals, currently graduating with Doctoral Degrees in Physical Therapy. This degree requires an average of 6-7 years of higher level education. You will often see this abbreviated as DPT or as PT, DPT within post-nominals. 

...Education does not stop there...

Physical Therapists in New York are required to complete 36 hours of Continuing Education (or CEU's) every 3 years to maintain their license to practice. This requirement for hours can be completed through online courses, live seminars, or participation in local or national conferences. You will often see and hear of our therapists working together in what we call "Journal Club." This is Onondaga Physical Therapy's quarterly "pow wow" of therapists in which new techniques, learning and latest research are shared, discussed and practiced between therapists. 

This "Journal Club" came to be because our therapists wanted to share what they learn from these courses with and learn from each other in a meeting of the minds in order to be able to provide top-notch care to their patients. 

How does one get started with Physical Therapy?

By Prescription....The most common way to begin Physical Therapy is to see your doctor - either primary care or any specialist - and obtain a prescription for Physical Therapy. Nurse Practitioners, Physicians Assistants, Podiatrist, and Chiropractors can all refer a patient to PT.

Direct Access... The State of New York allows for Direct Access to Physical Therapy. This means that you are allowed to be seen by a physical therapist for 10 visits or 30 days (whichever comes first) without having to first obtain a prescription from your doctor. Many insurance plans allow coverage for Physical Therapy using Direct Access - more and more are adding this coverage everyday. You can find out by asking if Direct Access is allowed on your plan, or by contacting one of our offices. One of our Office Coordinators will be happy to let you know whether Direct Access is available under your insurance plan. (Worker's Compensation and No Fault cases are exceptions to this rule, as well as Medicare) 

Free Injury Screening...This is a 15 minute meeting with one of our therapists, used to discuss your concerns and decide if PT is the way to go. This is a great option if you are unsure if Physical Therapy is right for you.  If necessary, we can also discuss with and forward these findings to your physician in order to obtain a prescription or come up with a plan together to get you on the road to recovery. After determining Physical Therapy is for you with a Free Injury Screening, it is also possible to get started with treatment right away using Direct Access.  Read More

Information provided by the entire staff of Onondaga Physical Therapy. Have a question? Contact us and pick our brains!

Topics: physical therapist, physical therapy

Web Searching your Symptoms: 3 Ways to Do it Right

12/27/13 4:54 PM
Between computers, tablets, smartphones, an app for this and app for that - we have a wealth of health information available to us - literally at our fingertips. Why sit, wait and wonder what your diagnosis could be if you could simply search the internet and try to figure it out on your own? It sounds like a no-brainer, right? 

It might be hard to resist, but it’s important to remember that there is A LOT of information available - through many sources. Before you dig into web searching, keep a few things in mind...

  • Use sites or sources you can trust…
If you’re searching for symptoms or health care terms in a search engine, select the links to reputable health care information websites. There are a lot of sites with user-written content, and sites where web users respond to questions posed by others on the web. This does not mean not that these sites are necessarily unreliable, however there is no guarantee that a qualified health care professional has provided the content - or that it has even been reviewed. To be safe, stick to the well-known sites with contributions from professionals. Many health providers themselves are also offering their tips & expertise on the web for all to learn from.

Looking for information on the benefits of aquatic therapy? Experiencing low back pain? Sources you can likely trust are websites and blogs written by physical therapists, orthopedic specialists & other provider groups in your area. 

  • Take it with a grain of salt…
There is a good chance you will be overloaded with information, and maybe a little scared by what you read on the web. Take it with a grain of salt and bear in mind that your health care providers are highly educated, experienced, have many tools at their disposal - and also know your medical history! They will be able to give you the best insights regarding your particular case. Remember, one or two matched symptoms does not necessarily mean you have found your diagnosis!

  • Educate rather than self-diagnose…
Rather than hopping onto the web determined to figure out what might be wrong with you, try to absorb the information and make use of it. Researching your symptoms and body systems can help you be prepared to communicate with & understand your provider as well as what is happening in your body -  and why. You will then be able to discuss possible treatment options and make an informed decision having done some research on your own.

Ever felt that you had not keyed your provider in on all that you had wanted to during your time with them? Communication is key! Think about it ahead of time to make the best of your visit - In your research on the web, think about how symptoms and sensations are described? What key terms are used? Use what you have learned to effectively relay what you are experiencing to your provider. 
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Written by Colleen Schutt.

Colleen is currently pursuing a BS in Health Services Administration.

Topics: healthy habits, physical therapist, tips