Physical Therapy gets Soldiers back into fight
February 24, 2012
FORT STEWART, Ga. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- For the Soldiers of 2nd "Spartan" Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, recovering from various injuries, have a new place to go for physical therapy as the Spartan Brigade welcomes their first "in-house" Brigade Therapist.
"While unit physical therapists have made their way to various combat brigades throughout the Army, it has not been until recently that the Marne Division has acquired the position," said Capt. Patrick Casey, the newly appointed brigade physical therapist for the Spartan brigade.
Casey said that the transition to having appointed unit physical therapists has been a long coming transition for combat units.
"The position originated in Army Ranger units and worked its way to all of the modular combat brigades," Casey explained.
He said the addition to Physical Therapists inside combat brigades is a combat multiplier.
"Previously for Soldiers, they would have to attend physical therapy from the base hospital or even be outsourced as far as Savannah," said Casey. "Now much of the physical therapy can be done inside brigade's themselves. This allows Soldiers to stay closer to their units."
While each Soldier's individual physical therapy needs differ depending on each Soldiers injuries, the goal remains the same explained Casey.
"The ultimate goal is to keep Soldiers in shape while still progressively treating injuries through the recovery process," said Casey. "As Soldiers heal we move up the intensity of the training to ultimately get them back into the fight."
During the physical therapy process, Soldiers attend one-hour sessions, two to three times a week along with Soldiers with similar injuries.
"With the group sessions we like to encourage Soldiers to motivate each other in the healing process. This helps keep the sessions physically intense and provide the moral for a speedy recovery," added Casey.
However, Casey said that the continued healing process for Soldiers does not just stop with hour long physical therapy sessions, but at the units themselves.
"We began training units on how to conduct rigorous physical training during morning physical training for Soldiers on profile as well," said Casey. "Designing P.T. around various injuries allows Soldiers to still be part of their units, and ultimately will keep the rest of their body in shape while they continue the healing process."