Though the safety of Airmen is of utmost importance, injuries, both in and out of work, are inevitable.
To ensure Airmen heal faster from their wounds and receive the very best physical therapy, Dr. Richard Shumway and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brett Bishop, 355th Medical Group physical therapists, developed the Mobility and Advanced Physical Therapy Classes.
After being referred to the 355th Medical Group physical therapy clinic, patients are treated one-on-one with their assigned therapist. Once enough progress has been made to the injury, the patient is invited to join the group program known as the Mobility Class.
“One of the biggest causes of injury is the lack of mobility,” Shumway said. “When patients come to these classes, we work on their mobility and stability in order to pinpoint the exact muscle groups that need to be worked on.”
These hour long sessions consist of dynamic stretches and resistance training.
Once patients show enough progress in the Mobility Class, they are given the option to transfer into the Advanced Physical Therapy Class, a program designed to prevent future injuries.
This program builds off of what is taught in the Mobility Class and introduces patients to joint-safe exercises.
“What’s great about the course is that it’s based on your level,” said William Fritsch, 563rd Operations Support Squadron operations superintendent. “The more you go, the more progress you’ll see and feel. I can definitely say that this course has helped improve my physical quality of life.”
Though the programs are highly recommended by Shumway and Bishop, patients have the option to go to as many or as few as they choose. Some patients may decide to go to neither and others take full advantage of the courses in order to continue their progression.
“I’ve spent about three years working with Dr. Shumway and have witnessed my physical fitness and the programs grow to where they are now,” said Capt. Daniel Hale, 79th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II pilot. “I’ve seen a lot of physical therapists because of my injuries over the years and the amount of moves I’ve been through.
This is by far the best team I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”
The Mobility and Advanced Physical Therapy Classes help Airmen heal faster while gaining a more in-depth understanding of their bodily limits and how to surpass them. It is courses such as these that help Airmen get back in the fight and maintain their readiness.