The toll of multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan on soldiers' bodies and how physical therapy can help them keep "doing their job, living their lives with as little pain as possible," is highlighted in a New York Times article featuring APTA member CPT Rachel Odom, PT.
Odom is the only physical therapist (PT) assigned to the 3,500 men and women of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division serving in Afghanistan. Odom manages the soldiers for "twisted knees, back pains, or shoulder strains," injuries associated with elaborate body armor that can add "at least 35 pounds to a soldier's load," and concussions sustained by roadside bombs.
Army Ranger units were the first to include PTs, rather than have them stay back at the hospital or in separate medical units. But now with their success, PTs have spread into mainstream combat units. Odom is the first PT assigned to her brigade, says the Times.