Category: Physical Therapy


PT Continuing Education (Missouri Edition)


Missouri Physical Therapy Continuing Education CoursesMissouri: the Show Me State; the Cave State; the town of the large canoes... Missouri has a lot of names. Even the name itself has two accepted pronunciations, depending on the region. But no matter where you are inside the borders (which are shared by eight other states, by the way) if you are a licensed physical therapist or PTA it's time to come out of your cave and face your CE deadline. Here's a quick refresher on the requirements (or click the link to double-check the Board Rules for yourself).

Licensees are required to complete 30 hours of physical therapy continuing education courses by December 31st on even-numbered years. Be prepared for board audits by keeping record of your CE courses (details like the title, activity, course sponsor, hours, etc. are mandatory). Accepted course content will focus on the direct practice of physical therapy, or non-administrative topics. Here's the light at the end of the tunnel part (or in this case, light in the cave): Missourian physical therapy practitioners can complete their entire requirement with online CE courses.

Currently there are over 1,100 hours of high-impact CEUs available in the PT Course Catalog, with more titles added throughout the year. We pride ourselves in offering courses centered on relevant and practical information concerning your field - you won't find any stale facts here. Select your titles, download your course material onto your iPad, Kindle, or computer, and get started. Once you've completed and passed your online CE exam, you will have immediate access to your PDF Certificate of Completion, which is stored permanently in your Milestone account, along with all of the required course information specified by the board rules.

Get started today! Contact one of our CE Specialists at 1-800-709-8820 or visit the website at


Motivating Your Clients


Motivating Clients for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists

You will never get people to reach their potential until they are motivated to do so. Everyone knows that motivation has peaks and valleys. However, it is your responsibility to stimulate motivation in patients/clients, so they can reach their desired goal.

The main way to do this is to ASK each patient/client what goal he (or she) has in mind. Then explain exactly how that goal can be reached.

Patients/clients who have suffered a life changing injury, may have to go through the stages of grief before accepting a hard fact…such as they will never walk again. If the goal is totally unreasonable, tactfully direct the person to a realistic goal. For example: if a person with a severed spinal cord says, “My goal is to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding next month.” I suggest you tactfully tell him that it is not a realistic goal. But offer an option that IS doable. Something like, “Let’s concentrate on building up your strength so you will be able to attend the wedding and the reception.”

Remember what the patient/client wants and make sure goals meet the SMART criteria. A SMART goal is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable (you will be able to walk X number of feet)
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timed (by July you will be…)

Written goals are more concrete; they motivate people. The person can see exactly where he (or she) is going. I’ve had success motivating people by telling stories or showing them pictures of other s who have overcome the same obstacles…or worse. It is hard for a person to wallow in self- pity because of an arm injury after hearing about a soldier who lost both of his arms in an active combat scenario. And when they learn that the ex-soldier now shovels the snow off his walk…it blows away excuses for NOT doing more. A person can hardly feel sorry for himself after hearing something like that. The person learns that no one is hopeless.

One patient became despondent after his leg was mangled. He wasn’t even trying to improve. I brought in a journal article that included a before and after picture of someone who had an even worse injury. He said, “You mean my leg can actually look almost normal and move again?” Whenever a person learns that something is possible, he (or she) is more likely to work towards a goal that seemed impossible before.

When I worked in one Rehabilitation Hospital, most of my patients were quadriplegics, paraplegics, and hemiplegics. The doctors and therapists asked our “old” patients to come back to talk to the newly traumatized ones. It gave encouragement to the newly injured. The newbies asked the “old pros” things they would never ask a professional. Issues like: catheters, bowel function, and sex were discussed candidly. Seeing people who were working, going to college, dating, and raising families while in a wheelchair, inspired them. It motivated them to do more than they had been doing. It gave them new hope. Even if life would never be “normal” again…they understood that life was still worth living. Eventually, they developed a new normal.

That’s where you come in. Show the patients/ clients what their new normal will look like. Then show them how to achieve it. Motivate people by showing them what they will get from all their hard work. Nothing is more frustrating than failing at something when you are trying your best. Yet that is exactly what happens when someone is recovering. So encourage people to keep trying. Be sure to break the goals down into manageable tasks and praise all efforts. It will be your job to routinely review the goals and the progress. Remind people they can reach their goals IF they continue to work at it. Then do your best to keep your patient/client moving forward.


PT Continuing Education (Illinois Edition)


Illinois Physical Therapy Continuing Education CE Courses at MilestoneIt's not only "back to school" time for students, it's also time for Illinois physical therapists to start thinking about their education too - their continuing education, that is! This post will review the key points for the renewal process for physical therapists because Illinois PT assistants are not up for renewal until next year on September 30, 2015. For a quick refresher, physical therapy assistants are expected to complete a total of 20 hours of CE by the renewal deadline, 10 of which may come from online CE courses and 10 that must come from live courses.

For even more specifics and details, review Section 1340.61 (Continuing Education) in the Illinois Administrative Code. And don't worry if you haven't purchased your online courses yet, because Milestone CE has got you covered there!

With an approaching deadline of September 30th, PTs in Illinois will need to complete 40 hours of continuing education in order to qualify for renewal. The state rules allow for 20 of those hours to come from online sources like Milestone Continuing Education, but the remaining 20 hours must come from physical therapy seminars, live courses, conferences, university classes, etc. According to the rules, 50 minutes is the literal clock time for 1 CE hour. After the practitioner completes the first CE hour (remember, that's only 50 minutes by the clock), a full CE credit will be awarded for half hour increments (See Section 1340.61 [a]4).

The rules weigh live courses differently, depending on the activity itself. For example, CE credits coming from a semester's worth of university courses will be weighed as 15 CE credit hours. If the practitioner takes college or university courses for CE credit for a quarter of a semester, then they would receive recognition for 10 completed CE hours. Be sure to review the rules governing credits for live courses so you can calculate your credit hours accurately (yes, I'm talking to you!).

Now about those online courses. If you've finished up the live seminar/PT conference portion of the renewal requirement and want to complete your remaining CE hours with self-paced home study courses, then you've come to the right place. Milestone provides high impact continuing education courses for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants licensed in Illinois and 29 other states - review our State Approvals here. With over 1,000 hours to choose from, and customizable CEU Bundle Packs which allow you to combine modules at a discounted rate, you can be sure you will be receiving the latest information in your field in convenient mail order or downloadable PDF format without sacrificing a variety of course content! Opting for the latter (online courses) allows you to instantly access your course materials on your office, home computer, or tablet device. The choice is yours! Click here to get started today!

Visit our FAQ section to learn more about Milestone, or contact a knowledgeable CE Specialist at 1-800-709-8820 or via e-mail at to get your questions answered!


Managing Strokes


"Strokes are the leading cause of disabilities in adults,” reports The American Stroke Association. So, stroke victims will require a large segment of therapy resources.

The majority of strokes occur for two reasons:

1. A stationary blood clot (thrombus) forms and interferes with the circulation to the brain.

2. A traveling blood clot (embolus) gets lodged and stops the flow of blood to the brain.

The thrombus is a solid mass that forms in a vessel. The embolus is often a piece of thrombus that broke away and travelled through the bloodstream…until it reached a spot too narrow to pass through. Once it becomes stuck, it cuts off circulation to that area. These clots account for 80% of strokes.

Vascular ruptures account for the other 20% of strokes. An example would be an intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain.

Any one of these events causes a blood flow interruption and damages the brain, resulting in a stroke.

The level of impairment depends on the area of the brain damaged, and the extent of that damage. If the damage is on the right side of the brain, the left side of the body will experience problems. If the damage is on the left side of the brain, the right side of the body suffers.

Hemiplegia is the total paralysis of half (hemi) the body. The person has NO control over it.

(When dealing with hemiplegia, you need to approach from the “good” side so the person can see you.)

Hemiparesis is weakness of half of the body. The person has some control and movement, but it is awkward and unstable.

The main impairments that will concern physical therapists will be:

Managing Streaks

· Function

· Communication

· Memory

· Emotional control

· Vision

· Swelling/edema

Patients with strokes usually have difficulty communicating.

Dysarthria is when the speech becomes slurred, slow, or difficult to understand. However, the person CAN speak.

Aphasia often accompanies the stroke in the forms of expressive aphasia or receptive aphasia.

Expressive aphasia is when a person is not able to produce the words he wants to say. He cannot express himself. The person may answer “Yes” when he means to say “No”.

Receptive aphasia is when the message someone else transmits gets garbled inside the patient’s brain.

You might ask the person to close her eyes but she lifts her hand instead. She is having difficulty receiving the message.

The National Institute of Health has a standardized measure that shows the relationship between the damage and prognosis. It gives detailed instructions on testing and obtaining a score which will help determine what therapies the patient will need.


Level of consciousness (LOC) Alert 0

Drowsy 1

Stuporous 2

Comatose 3

LOC questions Answers both correctly 0

(Ask patients their age and the month) Answers one correctly 1

Answers both incorrectly 2

LOC commands

( Ask patient to open and close eyes Performs both correctly 0

and to make a fist) Performs one correctly 1

Performs neither task correctly 2

Gaze Only horizontal movements are tested. Partial gaze palsy means that gaze is abnormal but forced deviation or total gaze pareses is not present. Forced deviation, or total gaze paresis NOT overcome by the oculocephalic maneuver. That maneuver is done by turning the head quickly to the right and left and watching to see if the eyes move normally. NOTE: The oculocephalic maneuver is done on comatose patients.

Normal 0

Partial gaze palsy 1

Forced deviation 2

Visual field (Hemianopia is the loss of vision on the left or right side)

No visual loss 0

Partial hemianopia 1

Complete hemianopia 2

Bilateral hemianopia/blind 3

Facial palsy None 0

Minor (assymetry on smiling) 1

Partial (paralysis on lower face) 2

Complete (absence of facial movement) 3

Motor arm function No drift (holds limb at 45° or 90 ° for 10 sec) 0

(score for both left and right sides) Drift (drifts down before 10 sec.) 1

Some effort against gravity

(limb drifts but has some effort ) 2

No effort against gravity (Limb falls) 3

No movement 4

Motor leg function No drift (Holds 30 ° position for 5 sec.) 0

(score both left and right sides) Drift (falls before 5 sec. but does not hit bed) 1

Some effort against gravity ( leg falls by 5 sec.,

but has some effort against gravity) 2

No effort against gravity ( falls on bed immediately) 3

No movement 4

Limb ataxia Ataxia is poor coordination, unsteadiness, or difficulty functioning.

(Finger to nose and heel to shin tests are done )

Absent 0

Present in one limb 1

Present in two limbs 2

Untestable ( explain why) __


(Test by pinprick on face, arm, leg) Normal 0

Mild to moderate loss (feels, but less so than usual) 1

Severe loss (is not aware of being touched) 2

Best language function No aphasia 0

Mild to moderate aphasia 1

Severe aphasia 2

Mute, global aphasia 3

Dysarthria Normal articulation 0

Mild to moderate dysarthria 1

Severe dysarthria (unintelligible or worse) 2

Untestable (explain why) __

Neglect For this test it means the lossof ability to see, hear, use space correctly, or pay attention.

No neglect 0

Partial neglect 1

Profound neglect 2

(does not recognize own hands or orients to only one side of space)

Total the score of each individual test. The higher the score…the worse the damage.

(You may download a copy of this by typing--nih stroke score””into your computer search engine.)

Exercising effected areas is vital. Physical therapists can help determine the person’s progress.

When you explain what is going to happen and why therapy is the key to a better outcome…the person is more likely to do it.

What you do and what you get the stroke victims to do, will make all the difference in their recovery. Therefore, YOU are essential to their progress!


New! PT Continuing Ed. in Vermont


Vermont PT Continuing EducationThere's big news for physical therapists from the Green Mountain State! Keeping in theme with Tuesday's post announcing new CE requirements for Colorado PTs, the following is a review of the newly developed physical therapy continuing education requirements for Vermont PTs and PTAs. If you still have questions, feel free to contact one of our CE Specialists at 1-800-709-8820 or contact the state board.

We encourage all of our Vermont PT practitioners to stay up to date with the latest changes to the board rules by visiting the Vermont Physical Therapy Board. Let's get started!

According to the latest information, physical therapists will be required to complete 12 hours and physical therapy assistants will be required to complete 8 hours of continuing competence units (CCUs) for the October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2014 renewal period. Beginning on September 30, 2014 and moving forward, the requirement will double where PTs will need to complete 24 hours and PTAs will need to complete 16 hours of CCUs. (Check our references here).

Milestone Continuing Education meets the board requirements under (C)(3) to offer online continuing ed. to physical therapists and assistants licensed in Vermont. Practitioners can peruse over 1,000 hours of online continuing competence units in our course catalog, with more courses added all throughout the year! Get started today by logging on to or simply click the Home button in the top left corner of your screen. Happy studying!


New CE Requirements for Colorado PTs!


Colorado Continuing Education for Physical Therapy PractitionersColorado has recently announced that physical therapists will be required to complete continuing education courses, or "professional development activities," in order to qualify for license renewal in 2016. Physical therapy assistants do not have any updated requirements at this time. Helpful links are listed at the end of this post!

Please keep in mind that these new regulations are still in development, and you should periodically check the Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Professions and Occupations for updates to the rules. As of the date of this post, physical therapists licensed in Colorado will be expected to obtain 30 Professional Development Activity "points" between November 1, 2014 and October 31, 2016.

Similar to continuing education credit hours, PDA points can be gained from university courses, specialist certifications, residency or fellowship completion (APTA program accreditation is required), as well as physical therapy online courses and other board designated activities. These PDAs are considered Category 1, out of which at least 20 of the 30 points must come from during the biennial renewal period. For any activity completed, the practitioner must keep the documentation showing completion for four years in their records.

Milestone Continuing Education meets the board requirements for Category 1 in the state of Colorado for physical therapy continued professional development courses. Browse through our current PT Course Catalog and view over 900 hours of continuing development courses that are sure to meet your professional interests. Visit our website, download your courses and get started today, or contact one of our friendly CE Specialists who will help you get started! 1-800-709-8820 or

Helpful Links to the Colorado PT Board:


PT Continuing Education (Utah Edition)


For those of you surfing the Internet waves for a summary of the Utah Physical Therapy Continuing Education Requirements, you've come to the right place. Within the two year renewal period, licensed therapists must complete 40 hours of PT CEUs, and assistants up for renewal must complete 20 hours of PTA CEUs. Only half of those hours may be completed through online or distance learning courses. The deadline for completion is based on the expiration date on your license. If you've stumbled upon this blog looking for a story, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to decide if I successfully tied together rock climbing, one of Utah's most thrilling outdoor attractions and my favorite hobby, with continuing education in the "Beehive State." Let me know how I did in the comment section below!

Rock climbing and PT Continuing Education Utah

I discovered a passion for rock climbing in 2012 after a visit to the local climbing gym in my hometown. The first day did not result in many physical accomplishments (besides a lot of sore muscles), but I did learn several key terms associated with climbing. For instance, in indoor gyms and in predetermined outdoor areas, there is a specific starting point and ending point, with designated moves in between, creating a "route" for climbers to follow. These routes would be designated by colored pieces of tape in gyms, so the climber knows they can only put their hands and feet on the holds marked with that color. It's not as simple as going from bottom to top, even though that's a welcomed exercise in itself. (That's me in the picture to the right).

Routes are also called "problems." I had to laugh when I found that out, and immediately followed up with the question, "does that make me a 'problem-solver' if I complete the route successfully?" No, not exactly, but it doesn't stop the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a solid "send" (that's the correct term for completing a problem from start to finish). The challenge and exhilaration was enough to win me over that very first day, and since then it's been part of my weekly fitness routine.

Coming from a very flat state, severely lacking in boulder fields and mountains, I've had to make due with climbing inside, or "pulling plastic" as the seasoned mountaineers would call it. So when I look at pictures of places like Utah from an outdoor climber's perspective, I imagine they see a gigantic playground full of towers, arches, boulders and mountains ready for ascent. And with no less than 5 national parks inside the state's borders, it's understandable why Utah is a top-rated destination for beginners and champions alike. I'll get there some day, but until then I'll be working on my technique from the climate-controlled comfort of the gym...

Utah Continuing Education Courses OnlineThe best part about it is the clarity of mind that occurs while you climb (and I imagine this is amplified when you're surrounded by the beauty of Utah's deserts and canyons). Climbing problems, while they require a certain level of strength, are mainly a mental challenge. As you make your way to the top of the wall, your focus has to be undivided as you thoughtfully put each hand and foot in the right place at the right time to achieve the goal of reaching the top.

The frustrations of the day are set aside, because without total attention to detail you'll fall. Even with your undivided attention that happens frequently, but don't worry, the floors are padded - another indoor climbing perk, in addition to air conditioning and heat!

This may be a stretch, but to me, navigating your physical therapy continuing education requirement is a lot like a climbing problem. Go with me on this for a moment. There's a specific starting point; selecting your online courses and planning for attendance at live conferences. And there's a specific ending point, completing your hours and submitting your application for renewal to the PT board. During the CE completion process, it takes focus and diligence, and it's more mental than physical, unless you do a lot of traveling to physical therapy seminars.

Your goal is to come up at the end with a successfully renewed license. The only difference is that there is no padded flooring waiting to soften your fall should you miss your deadline! If that still seems like a weak connection to you, I've got one more. Whether you complete 2 hours or 20 hours, you feel a since of accomplishment when you're done. You've solved the problems (I mean exam questions), and have leveled up in your knowledge of physical therapy.

Here's where you start. Choose your 10 or 20 hour course modules out of over 960 hours of course material designed to help you reach your professional goals. Contact a CE Specialist for set up, or go to to create your account. We're here to assist you day and night at 1-800-709-8820 (toll-free) or Choose Milestone Continuing Education and take your PT knowledge to new heights!


Race to the CE Deadline! (Kentucky PT Edition)


Kentucky Physical Therapy Continuing EducationGrab your fancy hats and binoculars and gather right here at the starting line with Milestone CE! We are introducing a new state to our PT continuing education approval lineup - Kentucky. The deadline for Bluegrass State PT practitioners will be here as fast as California Chrome! So hold tight to the reigns and keep reading for a review of the Kentucky continuing education requirements. And please, don't mind the derby puns, I couldn't help myself!

If you are a physical therapist licensed in Kentucky, you are required to complete 30 hours of continuing competency within the biennial renewal period, ending March 31, 2015. PT assistants are required to complete 20 hours. An hour, as defined by the Rules and Regulations, is equal to 60 physical minutes. Practitioners must keep in mind that the state divides continuing competency into two categories, where PTs must obtain at least 18 hours from Category 1, and no more than 10 from Category 2 (the remaining 2 credit hours are earned by passing the required Jurisprudence Exam). Physical therapist assistants are also required to complete the jurisprudence exam (worth 2 credits), plus at least 10 hours from Category 1, and no more than 8 hours from Category 2. We encourage practitioners to review the rules yourselves by visiting the Kentucky Board of Physical Therapy Website, or reviewing the Regulations & Procedures here.

Physical therapy practitioners (that's PTs and physical therapy assistants) have an outlying continuing competency deadline of March 31, 2015. But don't be fooled - time flies and before you know it, your deadline will be right around the corner. We say this in our posts all the time because it's true! In addition to the process of completing your continuing education courses, PTs and PTAs must take the time to choose a CE provider that meets the qualifications of the state, as well as personal expectations for quality, affordability, and convenience. In the race to the CE deadline, place your bet on the sure-fire winner - Milestone. Let our CEUs get you to the finish line - uh, I mean deadline - with the ease of downloadable PDF packaging, instant online exam grading, and permanent storage of your Certificate of Completion upon achieving a passing score of 70% or higher.

Milestone Continuing Education is an approved provider for online CE courses for physical therapists and PT assistants licensed in Kentucky and currently offers over 1,000 hours in our Physical Therapy Course Catalog, with new courses being added all throughout the year. All Milestone physical therapy CEU courses deliver practical and relevant topics that cover the requirements laid out by the Rules and Regulations - Section 1: (2) "Continued competency" means a planned learning experience relating to the scope of "physical therapy" practice as defined by KRS 327.010(1) if the subject is intervention, examination, research, documentation, education, or management of a health care delivery system."

Make it easy on yourself and take advantage of no online limitations, browse through the Course Catalog, select the titles that are most relevant to your personal and professional interests, and get started today! It may seem like a marathon now, but the best way to come out first in the race to the CE deadline is to get started today!


New Courses for OTs, PTs, & Assistants!

Course Catalog expansion is very important to Milestone. As an online provider of CE courses for physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors and more, w strive to ensure our practitioners have a wide variety titles to browse through when they have the option to choose home study courses. This week we're announcing not one, but two brand new courses open to our Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy practitioners available for purchase on Monday, May 12th. The details are below, but of course if you find that your questions have not been answered, feel free to contact a CE Specialist at 1-800-709-8820 or via e-mail at

Hand Therapy CEU courses

Hand Therapy

The fully illustrated text has been carefully broken down by sections into 3 modules to better meet your professional needs. Each module is approved for 10 contact hours of post-graduate continuing education (NOTE: board approvals vary state to state, please check your state's approval status in the state specific course catalog by returning to our home page and entering both your state and profession). In this updated edition, new information has been added showcasing the newest testing techniques, data on normative values for range of motion, and reliability and validity studies from the current literature. Each chapter features anatomical descriptions supplemented with line drawings of the joints and photographs of the goniometric landmarks.

Physical Agents in Rehabilitation

Physical Agents

This text expands on treatment options and patient safety with sections on thermal agents and electrical currents that reflect clinical application recommendations and the latest research on the topic. Content includes contraindication and precautions boxes with important safety information, upper extremity cases for all physical agent chapters, and application technique boxes with detailed step-by-step instructions for using all physical agents. The course has been carefully divided into 4 modules for your convenience, with each module having been approved for 10 contact hours of post-graduate continuing education. As with the previous course, be sure to check your state's approval status before purchasing online CEU courses.

Course modules can be purchased individually, or may be grouped into cost-efficient "Bundle Packs" listed after every CEU title in the Course Catalog. Additionally, you may select your preferred method of continuing ed. by choosing between online or mail format options. All Milestone Continuing Education course exams are taken online to offer the benefit of immediate grading and instant access to certificates of completion (upon achieving a passing score of 70% or higher).

Contact a CE Specialist to get started today, or set up your online account, select and purchase your modules and get started with an easy click of your mouse. It's that simple!


CEUs for Connecticut Physical Therapists


Connecticut PT practitioners are required to complete 20 hours of physical therapy CEU courses during the annual renewal period, according to the Connecticut Department of Health. As long as the course relates directly to the practice of physical therapy it will be considered an acceptable form of physical therapy continuing education in Connecticut, regardless of its format - i.e. credit hours can be obtained from live seminars, conferences, or online (home study) resources as long as the course content focuses on improving and expanding existing knowledge of illnesses and treatments related to your field of practice. It is the responsibility of the practitioner to secure a certificate of completion for all hours gained during the year, as these documents must be submitted upon application for license renewal. It is Board-recommended to keep completion documents for up to three years as they may be requested for audits and reviews.

Connecticut Physical Therapy Continuing Education

(Click on the image to view the course list and objectives for Milestone Physical Therapy CEU Courses)

Milestone Continuing Education has been proudly offering high impact CEUs in convenient PDF formatting for years, which allows busy physical therapy practitioners the ability to study on the go with no WiFi access required after the initial download.* The featured course titles are created from the latest edition textbooks available on the market to ensure practitioners are introduced to new information in the physical therapy world. Additionally, Milestone upholds the rigorous standards of the Better Business Bureau (Indiana Chapter) and other national professional organizations by producing excellent course content and providing outstanding customer service which can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-709-8820. Test it out for yourself today!

*All Milestone CE exams are taken online to enable instant grading and access to certificates of completion upon achieving a score of 70% or higher.