What is the value in attending the Arizona Physical Therapy Association’s Conference?

Need a little push to attend? Why not read about the VALUE?


Date: Friday, October 14th-15th

Location: A.T. Still University, 5850 E. Still Circle, Mesa, Arizona  85206

Time: 8:00 AM

Facebook: Moving the Profession Forward! PT Pub Night

What is the value in attending the Arizona Physical Therapy Association Conference?

The 2016 Moving the Profession Forward- AzPTA Fall Conference is something you won’t want to miss. There will be subject matter for everyone in physical therapy. Topics relate to all patient populations: Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Orthopedics, Neurology, Women’s Health, Sports, and Nutrition.  There will be interactive symposiums on Education, Legislation, and Association where you can help shape the future of your profession. PT Pub Night is happening Friday evening, which is always a fun social event for all to enjoy. This is the place to be for all Arizona Physical Therapists, assistants, and students.

The VALUE of attending a conference of this nature is simple: information. Not everyone wants to be “involved.” Some individuals do not want to be responsible for going to capitol hill and advocating for physical therapy. They don’t feel drawn to volunteer time outside of class or work, or do anything besides learn or practice patient care. It is important to mention that most of us, if not all, entered this great profession to help people. Being “involved” is very different than being “informed.” It is our professional duty to be as informed as possible about the current issues within physical therapy, the best treatments, and even networking! Attendance at a statewide conference is just that; part of our professional duty to be informed. It offers an avenue to gain insights of best practice from experts in the field. It opens lines of communication to people who are conducting research and progressing our field. Lastly, it gives you a composed outlook on the profession of physical therapy; a balance of its issues and benefits.

The APTA has created a list of core values that all individuals in the profession should exemplify. The list of core values, with the fun little acronym ACE SAID, includes: Accountability, Altruism, Compassion, Excellence, Integrity, Professional Duty,  and Social Responsibility. Attending meetings, such as the AZ Chapter Fall conference, helps a professional to: continue to progress the quality of patient care, become more aware of the needs of the community/state one lives in, advocate for the health and wellness of your patients as well as the profession. This is a home-run hit on all the bases of the APTA Core values. If that is not convincing enough, attending a conference leaves you with so much new information, new knowledge on how to grow as a clinician, better connections with the community, new tools to market yourself and connect within the PT world, and overall feeling called “conference euphoria.” What could be better?

Renewed vigor is not easy to come by. Many professionals strain and force their professional involvement. Perhaps not surprising is that we lose the initial vigor we had as energized students. As students, we have innate passion about this profession. It’s evident by our interactions with one other in class, discussions on social media, and attendance at national conferences. It is our professional duty to attend conferences of this magnitude, but value comes from what you bring. I mean this: as students, we have the uncanny ability to speaks our minds, question our predecessors, and push the envelope to innovate ideas within the field. This conference creates a platform to do just that; and of course, keep us informed! Let’s help each other renew our vigor by demonstrating our passion for this field, and creating an environment of energy and change at the State Meeting.

Also, a quick shout out to Jennifer Howe (@jenniferhowept on Twitter) who was a major contributor to this post and as well some others that will be coming out!

Physical Therapists Can Reduce the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease?!

As of 8.29.16, I am a second year DPT student. I survived first year easy enough, or I would like to think so. I had my fair share of struggles, I did, but I am simply happy to still be alive. As students, we often forget that our time is an investment. It is easy to be distracted by the sheer volume of information required of us, the cyclic patterns of business, trying to maintain a sleep schedule, and the ever ubiquitous thought: graduation.

Second year imbues us with a lot of those same distractions, but also stuns us with its own dangers. Enter: the PICO presentation. Fortunately for me, I have until next semester to prepare (February sometime… more on that later), but some of my wonderful classmates presented last Friday. I respect them for tackling such a daunting task early on. Let me shed a little perspective, a PICO presentation at its roots is a research question. The point of this question is to solve a problem using information and research gathered. You present your findings, answer the question, and make a claim for its relevance to treatment. You present your analysis to classmates and all faculty to try and convince them of your educated opinion. Again, a daunting task. I commend the 4 peers that buckled down and presented first.

The first presenter was Katie Mullen. I tweeted during her presentation, “ blowing minds with her presentation about and using as the potential standard treatment! .” Katie crushed it, and I am fully behind her analysis that physical therapists should be an integral part of the Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment. I say this not only as a student learning these concepts, but also as a caregiver. Not many people know, but this disease will always hold a place in my heart. This disease, along with Parkinson’s, is something that has impacted me personally. My great-grandmother, who lived with us for a big portion of my life, was diagnosed and lived with these diseases. I will not say she passed away because of the diseases themselves, but they did contribute to a decreased quality of life.

Not a day goes by that I do not ponder my own chances of diagnosis, as well as my family’s chances. Either situation would have a profound effect on my life.

Fortunately, I now know more about these diagnoses, and have the ability to make a difference in future treatments. I am pleased to be part of a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and for knowing Katie. She is going to make a huge difference, just wait and see.

Her idea should be the gold standard of care for Alzheimer’s disease.

Link is below:

Physical Therapists Can Reduce the Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease

Advocating for the AGPT

Article focuses on Geriatric physical therapy and how we can raise awareness in that area.

Hey everyone,

Awhile back, I posted my article, “Advocating for the AGPT,” to Twitter and Facebook. This article will be featured in July’s edition of GeriNotes, one of the journals through the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (AGPT). I decided to post it through my blog in hopes to raise awareness on this topic as GeriNotes is not a public access journal.

To learn more about the AGPT please visit the AGPT’s website or visit them on Facebook, AGPT, or Twitter, @AGPTtweets.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Here is the file:

Advocating for the AGPT

Prosthetics and Orthotics

Presentations from a Prosthetics and Orthotics course done by DPT students for other students.

Summer coursework has tasked us with creating presentations that dive into a multitude of diagnoses. Our assignment required knowledge of the disease itself, the clinical ramifications, the role of orthotics in treatment, a case study, the implications of the disease, and treatment approaches. There are myriad of different diagnoses that can be treated with the use of prosthetics and orthotics. The course covered a wide variety of topics, with the presentations linked representing a small portion of those. Some of the presentations focus on using tools for specific populations and other pertinent information to that topic.

The links are found below:

3D Printed Prosthetics

Advancement in UE Prosthetics

Amputee Mobility Predictors


Diabetes Mellitus – In Native American Populations

Ertl Osteomyoplastic Bone Bridge

Exoskeleton Orthotics

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) of the Ankle

Hemiplegia and Orthoses

Hip Dysplasia

Idiopathic Scoliosis

Legg-Calves Perthes

Metabolic Demands Of Amputees

Neuromuscular Scoliosis


Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Smart Devices in Gait

Spastic Diplegia

Spinal Cord Injury



Transfemoral Transtibial Patient Prognosis Predictors

Virtual Reality Prescription Rehabilitation


Therapeutic Exercise

Presentations on Therapeutic Exercise for various diagnoses!

Prescribing appropriate and specific treatment is our job as physical therapists. Exercise  is arguably the most significant portion of this responsibility. Our class was tasked with creating presentations focusing on therapeutic exercise.

We used problem-solving to form a treatment plan for an assigned diagnosis. We demonstrated an understanding of evidence-based research to justify the use of various therapeutic exercises and treatments. We calculated dosage parameters for the therapeutic exercise program or home exercise program. The topics assigned fell under the major categories of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions: Adhesive Capsulitis, Kyphoscoliosis, Patellofemoral Dysfunction, Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, Shoulder Dislocation, Total Hip Replacement, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, Concussion, Phantom Limb Syndrome, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Here are the links:

Adhesive Capsulitis

Athetoid Cerebral Palsy (Dyskinetic)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy


Multiple Sclerosis

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Phantom Limb Syndrome

Shoulder Dislocation

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Total Hip Replacement



This excerpt is from an anonymous source who is  interested in making sure we all have a clear idea of what it means to advocate for PT. I suggest reading it and as well sharing your thoughts as comments. Also, follow the link embedded in the file itself.

It is a very good source of information.


Here is the link:



Here is the post:

“Dear APTA Student Assembly and the PT Twitter-verse.

I love your enthusiasm to get out there, get involved and promote the profession. I genuinely do.

But I have one small request. Learn the meaning of the word advocacy, and its subsequent hashtag: #PTadvocacy.


To advocate means to support a cause or proposal; that’s straight out of Merriam-Webster. Thus Physical Therapy advocacy means to support causes or proposals that advance the interests of the PT profession and our patients. The vast majority of the time this means LEGISLATIVE advocacy. Speaking to legislators about bills that directly impact the profession either positively or negatively. This includes donating to PT-PAC because with your contribution they are able to do a lot of that work for us. The other half of PT advocacy is what I have heard called “internal advocacy”. This means working to shape or guide the PT profession. Do you think the APTA should embrace imaging as part of our scope of practice? That’s internal advocacy. When students and PTs across the country saw a motion unanimously passed that charged the APTA to address PT student loan debt (RC-11), that was internal advocacy.

PT advocacy is not telling your uber driver to #get1st or #choosept because of their low back pain. There is no specific cause or proposal you are advancing, you are just selling or marketing your profession to the lay public which is an awesome thing, but its not advocacy.

Running for Student Assembly Board of Directors is awesome, and I thank you for volunteering to serve but its not advocacy.

The words we use matter. Whether we are speaking to an Occupational Therapist, an Orthopedic surgeon, or an orthotist its vital we all know what “gastrocnemius” means. If we are going to be successful as a profession its vital we agree to using the same words to express the same thing.

Seems simple right, but harder to practice. I know. There are lots of PT hashtags out there so this graphic is nice to help keep them all straight.

Although, to be honest, I think their definition of advocacy is bit broad.


For further info check out:


or this great article: Advocacy 101.



That’s it! Now get out there and spread the word:


Down to business

This post includes links to Clinical practice guideline (CPG) presentations done by the NAU DPT program in Flagstaff, AZ. The whole class contributed to the different topics mentioned throughout.

CPG’s are often not utilized to their full capabilities, or often enough in my opinion. As a class, NAU DPT Flagstaff, we were tasked with forming groups in order to review clinical practice guidelines. The topics were broad, ranging  from head to toe. The topics were:

  • Shoulder
  • Knee/ACL
  • Hip
  • Neck
  • Low Back
  • Heel
  • Ankle
  • Achilles

Our small groups presented a specific diagnosis that the CPG’s covered from those broader categories. The links to all of the presentations are at the end of this blog entry in both PowerPoint and PDF. In the presentations, influential researchers as well as outside research studies were included for each topic in hopes that our class could follow the most relevant information. These presentations are great, and everyone did a wonderful job, but they are not the most important part of this assignment. We were also asked to provide a 1-page infographic designed to be easily read and used to treat a specific diagnosis. These are gold! All of them have valuable information regarding treatments backed by the most evidence. Those infographics are also attached below. All are in PDF format except for the shoulder infographic.

CPG Presentations:

CPG Presentations (Compiled)

CPG Presentations (Compiled)


Achilles Tendinitis

Ankle Instability (Back Page) Ankle Instability (Front Page)

Knee Pain


Neck Pain

OA of the Hip

Plantar Fasciitis

Frozen Shoulder


First blog post

Here Goes Nothing.


The reason for starting this blog is very simple. I think my fellow Doctor in Physical Therapy students need to be informed.

The idea for a blog throughout PT school has been on my mind since I began the coursework back in August, because I have always had a blog of some sort. During my first year, I am technically a second year student now, I saw hardships, joys, and even successes and failures that many other students go through not unfamiliar to our predecessors. The big issue I saw was that as students we do not fully understand our own capacity to make change. Many students feel that if they speak up on issues they may be reprimanded, afraid to ask questions for feeling inferior to others, or even lack the motivation to be active in the profession of Physical Therapy. Let me be clear, these are not problems. These are normal reactions to being in a graduate level program. The purpose of this blog is to hopefully shed some light on some of the topics and maybe controversies I have encountered and act as a resource for others who may be in a similar boat.

I hope to have this blog as a resource for learning materials, insights into dealing with PT school, and as well just be informative to many of the issues I and the profession are facing and will face. I hope to do this with my own writings, questions and submissions from clinicians, and lastly a video series I am calling PT Talks.