Working out the kinks
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- When Wolf Pack Airmen need help getting back on their feet, the 8th Medical Group's physical therapy unit is there to offer a helping hand.
"Air Force members are faced with the challenge of staying in top shape in order to stay ready to fight tonight, and pass the physical fitness test," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremiah Taylor, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy and health promotions NCO-in-charge.
Taylor went on to say sometimes while training to meet these demands, members get injured.
"Physical therapy is a way to treat these injuries and get the Airman back in the fight as soon as possible," the physical therapist said. "Treatment plans that we offer are non-invasive and often can be performed on your own."
While the goal of physical therapy is to make daily tasks and activities easier through treatment, Taylor acknowledges there are other benefits to physical therapy.
"Every Airman is concerned with their level of fitness," said Taylor. "When injury happens to a member, the first thing that crosses their mind is 'Will I be able to pass my fitness assessment?' Failing the fitness assessment can lead to referral EPRs - and with force management taking place right now, can also ultimately lead to getting discharged."
Because this is a huge stressor in the minds of an injured Airman, Taylor credits physical therapy with also being a way to cope and bounce back, both mentally and physically.
"Physical therapy is here to help relieve that stress by treating, teaching injury prevention and enhancing performance," said Taylor.
Taylor also ties physical therapy into promoting and reinforcing resiliency because the patient gains back their confidence along with their physical health - which in turn allows the patient to 'bounce back' in more than just one aspect of their lives.
"First, Airmen realize they have a problem and ask for help by coming to physical therapy," Taylor said. "Second, they choose to stick with the physical therapy plan of care in order to get better. They look past their current injury situations and believe they will get better."
While injury is always a possibility for Airmen, one thing is certain - the physical therapy unit is there to help them recover, ensuring the Wolf Pack remains resilient and always ready for the fight.