Congressional Briefing to Address Musculoskeletal Injuries in Military Members

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 7, 2011 — Sen Jerry Moran (R-KS), along with the US Bone and Joint Initiative and its participating members, including the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), will hold a congressional luncheon briefing October 13, noon-1:30 pm, in the Russell Senate Office Building, on the value of musculoskeletal care and the growing short- and long-term impact of musculoskeletal injuries in the nation's military.

APTA member COL Barbara Springer (ret), PT, PhD, OCS, SCS, former chief of Physical Therapy Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center, and other orthopedic and rheumatology experts will address the rampant number of musculoskeletal injuries, which can lead to long-term chronic pain and arthritis, sustained by veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Retired Marine Mike Jackson, 27, of Catoosa, Oklahoma, who has early onset osteoarthritis in his shoulder, will share his experiences living with arthritis at the briefing. Jackson recently was named the 2012 National Arthritis Walk Hero.

The number of soldiers who medically retire from the Army with at least 1 musculoskeletal condition increased 10 fold from 2003-2009. Annually, the Department of Veterans Affairs pays in excess of $500 million for musculoskeletal injuries.

"Military physical therapists, other musculoskeletal experts, and our health care leaders recognize the large number of musculoskeletal injuries and the impact they have on readiness," says Springer. "Human performance optimization, injury prevention, and the new physical readiness training programs are examples of new initiatives to help prevent or mitigate these injuries."

The congressional briefing follows the Value in Musculoskeletal Care Summit, a collaborative effort of the musculoskeletal health care community to define and measure the value of the care it provides.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 77,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com. Consumers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@moveforwardpt) and Facebook (facebook.com/moveforwardpt).

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