Merging the two PTs: Physical therapy and personal training

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

You are unique, the only individual in the world who can be “you.” Even identical twins possess a few unique characteristics.  So it is in the world of kinesiology and fitness; the same letter designation is not always indicative of the same title or role.

Many active individuals often find themselves in need of some form of physical therapy, either to rehab a torn muscle or following orthopedic surgery.  I have often heard patients refer to the practitioner as their PT.  Fair enough, right? However, many of my fitness clients refer to me as their PT, shortening the title of Personal trainer.   Once again, fair enough…yet confusing at times.

We are fortunate to have a hospital’s physical therapy satellite at our fitness center.  The staff is extremely dedicated and bright, and very often is able to bring about full recovery for their patients, happily returning them to their previous workout style.  There are some patients, though, who finish with Physical Therapy but still need some extra hands-on guidance. In cases such as these, our therapists often refer patients to one of our trainers.  A trainer can be the safest and most appropriate professional that a physical therapist would trust to continue with the patient’s rehabilitation, knowing that he or she would pay close attention to corrective exercises while still pushing forward in terms of restoring mobility and strength.

Since insurance companies are often limiting in what they will cover with regard to number of physical therapy visits, it is good to know that when you leave one PT office, you can easily merge with the other PT arena. Spread the word, and help strengthen and empower individuals of all ages!

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