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Physical therapists move to improve

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Physical therapists move to improve

Golden Bear Physical Therapy in Modesto uses specially designed exercises to help patients improve or regain their physical functions.

BROOKE BORBA/209 Health & Wellness

POSTED May 29, 2013 5:47 p.m.

Before Bobby Ismail became the CEO of Golden Bear Physical Therapy Centers, he was a patient with a devastating injury that crippled his health and self-esteem.

In 1985, the Downey High School football player received an injury that forced him to reevaluate his goals as an athlete. The staff at Golden Bear not only helped Ismail back on his feet, but renewed his direction in life. Ismail grew close to the staff, and found that fostering relationships became a key facet in treating patients.

What began as an accident turned into a life-long passion that has influenced thousands of patients throughout the Central Valley. To this day, Ismail swears that the greatest component of a physical therapist’s job is empathy.

“We are just like a coach,” said Ismail. “You need trust and guidance to foster a relationship with your patient. Our physical therapists at Golden Bear embrace compassion and sincerity, which makes this process more effective for the patient.”

Physical therapists are more likely to have suffered an injury than any other certified health physician in the medical field. Because of this, physical therapists have a high regard for their clients, and act as a mentor and guide through the process.

“Almost everyone that works in our facilities has had work done through therapy,” said Ismail. “They understand what it takes during that first assessment when you meet your patient. The patient can be doing well in a facility that fosters that attitude.” 

What exactly do
physical therapists do?

Physical therapists are health professionals who specialize in evaluating and treating various diagnoses that limit physical functions. They use specially designed exercises to restore or improve a patient’s physical functions and abilities.

A physical therapist evaluates many different components of movement, including: posture, balance, coordination, mobility, strength, flexibility and range of motion.

“Our main objective is for our patients to achieve freedom from pain, and improve their independent living standards,” said Ismail.

Most PTs work in an out-patient facility, where patients are able to leave and return home after completing a session of treatment. Although some patients have caregivers, most are able to live at home without additional support, but visit the facility for four to five months on average.

Who needs physical therapists?

Almost anyone can be a candidate for physical therapy. Unlike other health or wellness centers, PTs are capable of handling conditions varying from a simple sprain to a complex neurological disorder.

Day to day activities such as lifting a shoulder to brush your teeth, stepping into the shower, or climbing into the car can become a hassle for anyone with an injury.

PTs not only heal injuries, but also address how to prevent additional disabilities.

They provide services for people suffering from neck pain, low-back pain, arthritis, bladder incontinence, chronic fatigue, cancer recovery, weight-loss, upper-body and lower-body problems, neurological disorders, strains, and orthopedic-related injuries.

Golden Bear Physical Therapy Centers in the Central Valley treat over 800 patients weekly. Their services include aquatic therapy, sports therapy, and post-rehabilitation.

“Our main premise is to get people back to where they want to be,” said Brandon Nan, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Golden Bear associate. “We do not only cater to people who are here for sports injuries. We also help people who need assistance with their daily activities. It’s all the little things that we normally take for granted.”

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