By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
Traveling physical therapists and travel occupational therapists working in clinical settings across the country surely see it every day – especially during these challenging times. Accumulated stress, sleep deprivation, a compromised immune system and a set of generally unhealthy body movements and approach to activities of daily living, lead many Americans to seek medical help. In fact, research has shown that up to 90 percent of doctor’s office visits are stress related in some way. Some people are diagnosed with chronic stress related illnesses such as back pain, headaches, sleeping disorders and even hypertension and digestive dysfunction. Others are saddled with “chronic pain” and a plethora of prescription and over the counter medications to manage their lives. Most patients suffering from stress related symptoms and illnesses, however, may be surprised at the potential positive impact of physical or occupational therapy.
Physical therapy can be incredibly effective in providing relief for chronic pain, while restoring functionality and flexibility throughout the body. It is also a healthier alternative to long term regimens of prescription painkillers and even some over the counter medications. This is especially important since the American Geriatrics Society has issued warnings regarding the chronic use of NSAID medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin in the elderly. Physical therapy for pain relief does not come with the life threatening side effects of those drugs, such as ulcers, uncontrollable blood pressure, impaired kidney function, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Occupational therapists play a vital role in assessing potentially harmful patterns in a person’s daily routine and teaching them healthier ways to function, manage stress and live their life.
Stress may be an inevitable part of life, but the illness, injury and pain that it can lead to, are not. Traveling physical therapy jobs and occupational therapy travel jobs are in demand in clinical settings across the country to spread this message and teach people strategies and techniques for living a healthy life.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.