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Physical therapy helps Airmen recover from injuries

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Maj. Michael Hobson, 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapist, performs therapy to alleviate the back pain of Airman 1st Class Aaron Demmon, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Maj. Michael Hobson, 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapist, performs therapy to alleviate the back pain of Airman 1st Class Aaron Demmon, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Maj. Michael Hobson, 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapist, performs therapy to alleviate the back pain of Airman 1st Class Aaron Demmon, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate  pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Maj. Michael Hobson, 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapist, performs therapy to alleviate the back pain of Airman 1st Class Aaron Demmon, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Tech. Sgt. Jaime Turner, 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapy NCO in charge, explains to Senior Airman Jarrod Garceau, 52nd MDOS physical therapy technician, about the shoulder bone structure and common shoulder injuries that occur among patients here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Tech. Sgt. Jaime Turner, 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapy NCO in charge, explains to Senior Airman Jarrod Garceau, 52nd MDOS physical therapy technician, about the shoulder bone structure and common shoulder injuries that occur among patients here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – A physical therapy technician uses an ultrasound to apply deep heat treatment to a patient’s wrist to decrease muscle soreness here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – A physical therapy technician uses an ultrasound to apply deep heat treatment to a patient’s wrist to decrease muscle soreness here June 13. The 52nd MDOS Physical Therapy Section is available to lend a hand when it comes to helping patients alleviate pain and regain their physical abilities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- When Airmen have bone and muscle injuries, the 52nd Medical Operation Squadron physical therapy section is available to lend a helping hand.

According to Maj. Michael Hobson, 52nd MDOS physical therapist, the main issues patients regularly come in for are knee, shoulder and back. Many of these injuries are exercise-related.

"Airmen need to ensure they have the proper form and technique and know their limitations," said Tech. Sgt. Jaime Turner, 52nd MDOS physical therapy NCO in charge.

"Don't jump up to 300 pounds when you were doing 100 pounds last week. You need to ensure that you have the proper progression as well."

Improper lifting and push-up injuries are among the primary exercise-related injuries patients receive physical therapy for.

"A lot of what we see is improper lifting at the gym," Major Hobson said. "For the shoulders, it's definitely from going too far down on the push-ups. You have an anatomical range so when you go under 90 degrees, you're going too far down and tearing past muscle and getting into the ligaments. And when you stretch those, the chances are that you'll pop that and that's when you'll need surgery."

Major Hobson also says when running, Airmen are either running too far or running everyday, which can cause injuries.

"I tell people that it's a biblical concept," Major Hobson said. "The sins of the youth come back and spank you later. In the twenties you're immortal. From the ages of 35-40 you start seeing the chronic breakdowns."

According to Major Hobson, the younger generation of children and Airmen are not getting enough exercise because they're living inactive lifestyles. Consequently, when they go out and attempt to get vigorous exercise, injuries occur.

"We've become more like a sedentary type population because we don't do a lot of stuff outside," Major Hobson said.

Fortunately for patients the physical therapy section offers easy access. On days when the section isn't completely booked for appointments, there are sometimes walk-in hours allotted. However, Airmen must have already been seen by the physical therapist at least once to be seen during walk-in hours.

These Airmen can call the physical therapy office anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to see if there are any walk-in hours. To keep Airmen from waiting for the machine when calling, the direct line for physical therapy is DSN: 452-8300.

"If you're turning and you twist your neck or something, then you need to get that fixed quick," Major Hobson said. "The quicker we can get our hands on you and move you, the faster we can get you better and back to your fight."