Richmond VA Medical Center's KT Team
September 10-14th, 2012 is National Kinesiotherapy Week. Kinesiotherapy (formally corrective therapy) is an allied health profession that has been in existence since 1943. Kinesiotherapists provide acute, sub-acute or post-acute rehabilitative therapy focusing on therapeutic exercise, reconditioning, health and physical education. Kinesiotherapy (KT) utilizes a holistic approach to overall patient care emphasizing the psychological as well as physical benefits of therapeutic exercise and education in order to enhance strength, endurance, flexibility, and mobility within the rehabilitation process.
The roots of this profession began during World War II when corrective physical reconditioning units were established to accelerate 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 employing exercise and mobility programming. Starting in 1946, corrective therapy became a part of both the psychological and physical aspects of rehabilitation for hospitalized Veterans within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides KT services to Veterans and Service members through the application of scientifically based exercise principles adapted to enhance the strength, endurance, and mobility of individuals with functional limitations or those requiring extended physical conditioning. KTs practice across the continuum of care with a wide spectrum of neurologic, orthopedic, medical, surgical, and mental health conditions, including special populations with stroke, spinal cord injury, brain dysfunction, traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputation, homelessness, and geriatric needs.
The Richmond VA Medical Center has 23 staff Kinesiotherapists serving the Veterans in many areas of clinical expertise. These areas include: cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, adaptive driver rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, geriatrics and long term care, orthopedic inpatient and outpatient surgery, therapeutic aquatics, poly-trauma inpatient, transitional, and poly-trauma outpatient network systems, MOVE, employee wellness, functional capacity evaluations, and inpatient acute medicine.