Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Kinesiotherapy: Physical Rehabilitation through Exercise and Muscle Re-education

May 8, 2002

Kinesiotherapy: Physical Rehabilitation through Exercise and Muscle Re-education
Released: 2002/05/08

HOUSTON, TX - At the Houston VA Medical Center (HVAMC), Rehabilitation is a medical, multidisciplinary, team oriented, treatment process designed to reduce the dysfunctional effects of a wide variety of social and physical disabilities. A large proportion of the veterans treated suffer neuromusculoskeletal deficits resulting from trauma or disease.

One of the services provided is kinesiotherapy (KT). This unique discipline of corrective, exercise therapy began in 1943. During combat in World War II, corrective physical reconditioning units were established to hasten the return of urgently needed troops to active duty following injury. Corrective therapists, as a result, became a part of the U.S. Armed Forces' rehabilitation effort.

Starting in 1946, corrective therapy became a part of both the psychological and physical aspects of rehabilitation for hospitalized veterans within the VA system. Since that time, corrective therapy has expanded into both the public and private sectors. In 1987, corrective therapy was renamed kinesiotherapy to better reflect its role as a provider of therapeutic exercise.

Kinesiotherapists (KTs) at the HVAMC hold baccalaureate degrees from accredited universities and must successfully complete a national certification examination to become registered with the American Kinesiotherapy Association. Exercise and education are the sole treatment methods used by registered KTs.

KTs utilize kinesiology, the study of human movement, to design and implement exercise programs to meet the rehabilitative needs of veterans with disease or injury. Kinesiotherapists work with the patient to maximize their strength, coordination, and range of motion and mobility such as bed mobility, transfers, wheelchair mobility, and gait. They do this through exercise and muscle re-education.

KTs also educate veterans, and their family members and caregivers about their disabilities and appropriate exercises in order to achieve the highest degree of independence and personal satisfaction.

At the HVAMC, kinesiotherapists provide rehabilitation services in the following areas: cardiac rehabilitation, aquatic therapy, driver rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, transitional care center, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, and home care.

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Kinesiotherapists at the Houston VA Medical Center work with veterans to maximize their strength, coordination, and range of motion and mobility such as bed mobility, transfers, wheelchair mobility, and gait. KTs also educate veterans about their disability and appropriate exercise in order to achieve the highest degree of independence and personal satisfaction. Veterans undergoing Aquatic Therapy use the therapeutic pool on the first floor of the medical center.

Photo by: HVAMC Medical Media

Point of Contact: VHAHOU Public Affairs

04/21/04 08:25