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UM Expands Physical Therapy Services

Physical therapists Michael Brown, left, and Michael Meurrier are available to treat employees and students at the Starnes Athletic Training Center.
Physical therapists Michael Brown, left, and Michael Meurrier are available to treat employees and students at the Starnes Athletic Training Center.

The University of Mississippi now has two physical therapists at the Starnes Athletic Training Center to treat faculty, staff and students. The expansion of service means patients get appointments faster and experience improved overall rehabilitation services.

A partnership between the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and University Health Services provides the services of Michael Meurrier, who has been at UM for nine years, and new physical therapist Michael Brown, who joined the staff in January. Doubling the therapy staff allows patients to get appointments in a timelier manner, plus those services are conveniently located on campus.

“Since I’ve gotten here, I can see how much of a need for PT there is on campus and how much we can offer,” Brown said. “With two therapists here, there’s a good chance you’ll get in quickly and you’ll get the one-on-one care we can offer, plus the education about your injury.”

Adding Brown to help with the backlog has greatly improved services to patients, said Travis Yates, director of University Health Services.

“He is doing an excellent job, and I am receiving very favorable feedback from his patients,” Yates said. “We’re very pleased to have him on board.”

With a doctor’s referral – either from the Student Health Center, Employee Health Center or from an off-campus physician – faculty, staff and students can have access to a range of physical therapy services. The treatment fees for employees are filed on their insurance, and any cost not covered can be handled through payroll deductions or paid out of pocket.

The office treats lots of orthopedic injuries, primarily fractures, sprains, tendonitis, muscle injuries and problems caused by poor posture. Posture issues of lower back and cervical pain are often caused by employees sitting all day without getting up or changing positions, the therapists said.

Meurrier said he often sees staff members who have been in pain for months and have been taking pain medicine to decrease symptoms, but they haven’t dealt with the actual injury through therapy, so it doesn’t improve. He urges getting help for an injury as soon as possible.

“Both therapists encourage those with injuries to seek help as soon as possible,” Meurrier said. “Medicine, ice and heat can and do help with pain, but those things do not correct the root issue that has led to the painful symptoms. Our job is to try to figure out why the patient is experiencing their symptoms versus just treating the symptoms themselves.”

The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and appointments can be scheduled by calling 915-2027.

Courtesy UM Communications

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