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Physical Therapy and Mathematics
Transcript of Physical Therapy and Mathematics
Highschool Math Requirements
University Math Requirements
Everday Applications of Math
One of the prerequisites for getting into medical programs such as Athletic Therapy is taking Math 30-1which is a pre calculus course. With in the Math 30-1 course we will learn about, Functions and Relations, Transfromations, Exponential and Logarithmic functions, Applications of exponential and logarithmic functions, Polynomial functions and equations, permutaions and combinations, analyzing radical and rational functions, Trigonometry - Functions and Graphs and finally Trigonometry in realtion to equations and identities
Math 31 is another high school prerequisite on the road to become an athletic therapist. Math 31 or Calculus is basically the mathematical study of functions. In calculus you study limits, derivatives, curve sketching, indefinite and definite integrals and you also do the calculus of trig functions. Two concepts that are central to calculus are limits and derivatives. A limit is essentially the value that a function or sequence approaches as the input or index approaches some value. Limits are used to define continuity, integrals and derivatives. Derivatives can basically be described two ways geometrically(as a slope of a curve) or physically(as a rate of change).
Other examples of University Math used.
To become a Athletic therapist you do not need to take to many pure math courses but there are definitely math concepts rooted in the courses you do have to take. For example you use math in bio mechanics, nutrition, exercise physiology, physiology of fitness appraisal and in biology. For the most part the math you use is basically unit conversions, general calculations and basic algebra. But it is still very important to have a solid understanding of basic math concepts because of these components. Some of the physics involved in bio mechanics is very challenging math.
Although calculus is a prerequisite to get into an athletic therapy program my cousin Cheryl who is an athletic therapist with a degree in kinesiology never had to take university level calculus and has never used any of the concepts she learned in her high school calculus course.
As an athletic therapist right now there is a huge push towards evidence based research. This means that therapists are now looking to see on a scientific level what specific treatment methods are the most efficient. Because of this you actually use quite a few of the concepts from the statistics course you have to take in University. Some of these concepts you use are collecting various data types and assessing and analyzing them, you also need to have an understanding of the mathematical concepts and applications involved in the statistics so you can understand what the numbers represent and you also need to be able to read and interpret charts and graphs.
Common Math Used
Most of the Math used on a day to day basis is rudimentary and basic stuff. You use math in things such as calculating percentage heart rate for concussion return to play protocols, measuring degree of range of motion and in exercise and drug prescription.
What Do Athletic Therapists Do?
Athletic Therapists diagnose and treat sports injuries. They help athletes with four different aspects of an athletes health. They teach athletes how to prevent injury. Second if an athlete gets injured they assess the injury to determine its severity, after they assess the injury they start to treat the actual injury. Finally the athletic therapist puts steps into place to make sure the athletes don't get re injured, for example if they sprained their ankle an athletic therapist might suggest they play with a brace on. To become an athletic therapist you must first get a bachelor's degree in athletic therapy, or a related field such as kinesiology. Then you have to be certified by CATA(Canadian Athletic Therapists Association) and work as an intern under a certified athletic therapist to acquire hands on experience.
At the University of Western Ontario which is a good school for Kinesiology and athletic therapy, statistics was a mandatory course when my cousin Cheryl got her kinesiology degree. In statistics you study charts, plots and graphs as well as studying probability, solving random variables, binomial distribution, normal distribution and looking at numerical and graphical summaries of univariate and bivariate data. Although it is not mandatory anymore it is definitely a course I would take because it helps you to understand the data you have to interpret as an athletic therapist. An example of an equation you would use in statistics is (
) when solving for the slope of a line.
I also talked to Mrs. Pawelko and Interviewed my cousin Cheryl who has a degree in kinesiology and is finishing up her athletic therapy degree
This is an example of a research paper an athletic therapist would analyze fore evidence based research. And by looking at this you could see why a solid understanding of statistics would help inanalyzing this material.
Example of Bio mechanics Problem
A patient recovering from elbow surgery is attending physio to strengthen the biceps muscle. It is important that the elbow joint does not experience a force greater than 200N during the early stages of recovery. The physio chooses a 45.0 N weight (4.6 kg) for the patient to hold. If the forearm which weighs W = 22.0 N is maintained in a horizontal position by the biceps muscle supplying 348 N of force, will the force at the elbow exceed the allowable 200 N?
One way to solve this problem is to do vector summation with the cosine law to see what the resultant force is. Since the arm is being maintained in a static position, the force felt at the elbow will be equal and opposite to the resultant force of W, L and F. Normally we would solve this problem using Newton’s laws where the sum of the forces in the x direction must equal zero and the same in the y direction but this problem can easily be done using the cosine law. We could vary the Load (L) or the allowable force at the elbow such that sometimes the weight held exceeds the allowable and sometimes not. L is easy to vary by just selecting some common weights from a gym (say 1 to 5 kg). F would need to be generated from an algorithm which is given by:
This is an example of how math concepts such as trigonometry are used in bio chemistry and other aspects of an athletic therapists job