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New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network


Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Physical Therapist working with patient
 For More Information
Rehabilitation Medicine Contacts
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 Frequently Asked Questions
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Blind Rehabilitation
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 Non-VA Resources
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation *
American Kinesiotherapy Association *
American Music Therapy Association *
American Occupational Therapy Association *
American Physical Therapy Association *
American Therapeutic Recreation Association *
CARF-The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission *
Disabled American Veterans *
Healthfinder **
Medicare Online Training **
National Rehabilitation Association *
Paralyzed Veterans of America *
Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy (PT) is a service provided to patients with a variety of musculoskeletal and neurological problems. The goals of physical therapy are to decrease pain and improve function through the use of modalities, manual therapy, and exercise programs.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy (OT) is the use of therapeutic purposeful/functional activities with individuals who are limited by physical injury, illness, psychosocical dyfunction, developmental, or learning disabilities or by the aging process. The goals of occupational therapy are to maximize independence, prevent disability, and maintain health.

Kinesiotherapy (KT) is the study of human movement to design and implement exercise programs to meet the rehabilitative needs of individuals with disease, injury and/or physical disorders under the direction of a physician. Kinesiotherapy seeks to maximize strength, coordination and range of motion so that an individual's functional level is enhanced.

Music Therapy
Music therapy is provided to assist with relaxation training, pain and anxiety management, emotional expression, gait training, developing muscle strength/control, and assisting with speech/voice disorders. Goals of music therapy are addressed through various programs such as Vets of Albany Choir, Music-Evoked Imagery, and Relaxation therapy.

Recreation Therapy
Therapeutic recreation is the provision of treatment and recreation services to persons with illnesses or disabling conditions. The purpose of treatment services are to restore, remediate, or rehabilitate with goals of improving function and independence as well as reducing or eliminating the effects of illness or disability. The purpose of recreational services is to provide recreation resources and opportunities in order to improve health and well-being.

Physiatrists (physicians who specialize in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) focus on the treatment of functional deficits caused by a variety of illnesses and/or injuries. They care for patients who have suffered catastrophic events resulting in paraplegia, quadreplegia, or brain injury as well as patients with acute and chronic pain, musculoskeletal problems, amputations, and neurologic disorders such as multiple sclerosis, polio, and ALS.

Incentive Therapy
Incentive Therapy (IT) is a work evaluation activity designed to yield therapeutic benefits. Various work settings within the medical center are established in which patients are employed on a part time basis.

Vision Rehabilitation
Vision Rehabilitation is to enhance the quality of life of veterans who have experienced vision loss.

The purpose of treatment for veterans experiencing blindness or low vision is to assist in the development of personal independence and reintegration into family and community. Individualized programs support a continuum of care that extends from the veteran’s home environment to the local VA facility and to the regionally based inpatient training program.

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