FORT HOOD, Texas - Jump, stretch, squat, step.

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center employees and patients had the chance to test their limits during the Physical Therapy Department's open house Oct. 21.

"October is PT Month, and we are trying to get the word out on what we do and what we can offer patients," said Maj. Tom Feldman, CRDAMC physical therapist.

"As Soldier athletes, Soldiers need to be at peak fitness to do their mission for combat readiness, and physical therapists can help them retrieve and maintain that," he said.

During the open house, guests were tested on agility, balance, functional fitness, core strength endurance and more.

First Lt. Bryan Christiansen, a physical therapy intern, analyzed the arch in people's feet to recommend the proper running shoes. He sprayed water on the bottom of Wanda Turley's foot and asked her to step onto a paper towel.

"What we're interested in is the shape of the bottom of your foot," he said "You're pretty neutral, bordering on the low side."

He recommended Turley look for a stability shoe to support her neutral arch.

"If you don't find any working for you, go with a motion-control shoe," he said, describing the shoe recommended for people with low arches. Those with high arches were encouraged to buy a cushioned shoe to provide shock absorption.

Christiansen also demonstrated unique ways to tie shoelaces, depending on foot type.

"I learned something new," said Turley, a medical clerk for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. "We use shoelaces as beautification, but there are techniques to help."

Turley said she attends the open house every year, hoping to learn new things that benefit her body.

At the agility station, Turley held a bar behind her head and performed a series of squats. She said she does squats almost every morning, but at the open house she learned that if she tucks in her pelvis it will help support her back muscles.

Other visitors jumped through hoops, tested their balance using a video game and learned the proper way to sit at a computer according to ergonomics.

The Physical Therapy Department is located on the first floor of CRDAMC. Patients who think they might benefit from physical therapy treatment should contact their Primary Care Manager for a referral.

Page last updated Mon October 25th, 2010 at 12:58