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Deployed preventative health series: PT clinic gets to the point

  • Published
  • By Technical Sgt. Carlos J. Trevino
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Every deployed service member and coalition partner at Al Udeid Air Base serves a role in supporting critical regional airpower goals. However, when they suffer from illness or injury, their motor skills can be adversely compromised and may even limit their ability to support the combat mission here.

The 379th Expeditionary Medical Group’s physical therapy clinic works to rehabilitate nearly 300 members every month to keep them in the fight.

As a proven and effective substitute for prescription drugs, physical therapists design physical treatment programs to meet the needs of local patients according to their injury.

Maj. Erin R. Sturgell, 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron physical therapist, believes many of the injuries her clinic sees could be prevented, especially as related to exercise-induced injuries and dehydration.

 

Sturgell observed that many personnel pursue physical fitness goals during their deployment, but some chase their fitness goals recklessly. 

 

“Members need to remember that if they are starting or increasing a new exercise routine while they are here, they need to start slowly and only increase the workout by small increments at a time,” she said.

 

August is designated as Preventive Health Month by the Air Force Medical Service to raise awareness about summer safety and preventive measures military members should take while working in the warm weather.

“Using a foam roller regularly and performing core stabilization exercises like planks, side planks and bridges several times a week goes a long way toward preventing most of what we see,” Sturgell said.

 

Proper hydration also plays a critical role in preventing minor physical injuries according to Sturgell. Muscles are one of the first things to be adversely affected by dehydration, which causes them to not function properly and could result in an injury.

 

To better offset physical injuries at AUAB, the clinic will begin offering monthly classes focused on developing core stabilization, hip strengthening, and mobility and flexibility drills at the Blatchford-Preston Complex gymnasium. The first class is scheduled for August 17, 2016.

For more information about physical therapy contact the physical therapy clinic at 455-5352.