Axle Pajarito-Joseph has been a registered physical therapist at Auskell Medical Centre since April 2016. A native of the Philippines, Axle first became a physical therapist in February of 2009.
As part of her training, she had to complete an internship in various fields of physical therapy, which exposed her to a wide range of patients (pediatrics, cardiovascular, orthopedic, geriatric and neurological).
She also attends seminars and training to supplement her knowledge in areas like Kinesio® Taping, which is a definitive rehabilitative, latex-free taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion.
As a physical therapist, Axle’s responsibility is to help patients reduce pain and improve or restore their mobility – in many cases without expensive surgery and often reducing the need for long-term use of prescription medications and their side effects. She teaches her patients how to prevent or manage their condition, so that they will achieve long-term health benefits.
She also examines each individual and develops a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, Axle works with
individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness, and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
At Auskell, Axle’s services are personally designed based on the patient’s unique situation, their needs and goals.
“First, there’s the evaluation process in which I will evaluate and diagnose the patient using tests to help determine the origin of their pain or limitation. This process is a concise and comprehensive assessment, which fully screens the area that is involved.
“With the results of the evaluation, and the patient’s goals in mind in conjunction with the physician’s medical diagnosis, I can formulate a specific treatment protocol to help the patient return to sports, work or other daily activities,” Axle explained.
Her belief is that the patient should fully understand their diagnosis and what their recovery involves. Therefore, along with the evaluation process, she educates the patient on the specific diagnosis, and explains what self-care techniques and home exercises will be important to maximize the rehabilitation.
During manual therapy, Axle utilizes the application of hands-on techniques designed to relieve pain, reduce muscle tightness/spasms, and improve range of motion.
Examples of manual therapy are: joint mobilizations, soft tissue mobilizations, passive stretching, exercise prescription, and exercises that focus on all areas of the body and are tailored to meet each individual’s needs.
She added that she uses physical modalities like moist heat and hot packs, cold packs and ice packs, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, Iontophoresis, Phonophoresis, infrared and Anodyne.
Her work as a therapist has allowed her to work with orthopedic patients, who have musculoskeletal system, including joints, tendons, ligaments and bones problem. She said that many sports injuries fall into this category.
She also works with geriatric patients to address the movement needs of older adults. This includes treatment for conditions such as arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, joint replacement and balance disorders. Her neurological patients have neurological conditions and impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and stroke.
Axle assists cardiovascular and pulmonary patients, who are individuals who suffer from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions such as heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis. Her pediatric patients are infants, toddlers, children and adolescents suffering from diseases or injuries, including: acute injury, birth defects, developmental delays, genetic disorder, head trauma, limb deficiencies, muscle diseases and orthopedic disabilities.
Although a career in physical therapy has its challenges, there are many rewards.
“I like helping patients return to their work or previous conditions and being able to return to their previous way of life,” Axle expressed. “I also like educating patients about injury prevention, so that they can function even better in their daily life. Working at Auskell Medical Centre, I get to meet people from all walks of life.”
Home visits are also arranged for patients who are bedridden or unable to come to Auskell, but are in need of physical therapy.
All in all, Axle said that therapy is beneficial to patients after injury and surgery because it will be a key part of their recuperation. Therapists can help promote healing like minimizing scar tissue after arthroscopy on your knee or shoulder, or to retrain your muscles after a major surgery.
Another reason why therapy is so important is because therapists can help patients regain mobility, so they can return back to daily activities like walking and gardening, or return to more vigorous exercises.
“Therapists also help in speeding up recovery. Doing the necessary rehabilitation will help the body recover much more quickly than if left to its own devices,” she stated. “Lastly, doing physical therapy helps the patient to be involved in their rehabilitation and it allows the patient to be actively engaged in their recovery.”
Axle Pajarito-Joseph is available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Appointments for physical therapy can be made at Auskell Medical Centre, which is located in Marsh Harbour. The telephone number is 1(242)367-0020.