We have a solution for you! And it starts with getting the right information. Read on to learn more about how physical therapy may be the best option for you.
What is physical therapy?
- Physical therapy is a doctoral level profession that helps improve the way people move.
- Physical therapist are movement specialists who attempt to identify the "root cause" of the problem.
- Physical therapists have many tools available to them to clinically diagnosis what is going on and how to treat it.
- Physical therapy helps people of all ages that have concerns related movement and function due to aging, injury, disease, dysfunction, conditions or environmental factors.
Who is physical therapy good for?
- Physical therapy is for anyone who has an issue that relates to movement or function due to aging, injury, dysfunction, conditions or environmental factors.
- Physical therapy is can help people of all ages return to the activities they love.
- Physical therapists help people what want to remain active and mobile.
- Physical therapy is good for people who want to address preventing future problems.
Why should I go see a physical therapist?
The most common reason why people seek out physical therapy is because they are recovering from an injury or had surgery. Physical therapists can have speciality training in certain areas that make them more sought after by patients / clients. They help them return to the activities they love by evaluating the situation, and developing the best plan to address any areas necessary. The PT may ask them do exercises or activities to assist with the issue, which can also include activity modification and patient education.
Did you know that physical therapists can also prevent bigger problems into the future? With physical therapist being movement specialists, we can identify where you may have issues into the future by evaluating how you move. Physical therapists can also help people prepare you for surgery or even avoid the need for surgery. They work with people what have balance issues or those who want to return their sporting and recreational activities.
Ultimately, physical therapists improve your efficiency of movement, and get you back to what you love to do.
What will a physical therapist do for me when I get evaluated or have treatment?
- Palpation - touching around the area of the pain/problem. This is done to check for the presence of tenderness, swelling, soft tissue integrity, tissue temperature, inflammation, etc.
- Range of Motion (ROM) - the physical therapist will move the joint(s) to check for the quality of movement and any restrictions.
- Muscle Testing - the physical therapist may check for strength and the quality of the muscle contraction. Pain and weakness may be noted. Often the muscle strength is graded. This is also part of a neurological screening.
- Neurological Screening - the physical therapist may check to see how the nerves are communicating with the muscles, sensing touch, pain, vibration, or temperature. Reflexes may be assessed as well.
- Special Tests - the physical therapist may perform special tests to confirm/rule out the presence of additional problems.
- Posture Assessment - the positions of joints relative to ideal and each other may be assessed.
- Functional Movement Assessment – the physical therapist will perform this special test consisted of 7 basic functional movements which will provide a general blue print of your mobility and detect if other contributing factors may be involved with your current problem or future injury risk.
- Evaluation - the physical therapist will take all the information gathered and come up with a clinical diagnosis to let you know exactly what is going on.
- Develop A Plan Of Care - based on the evaluation, the physical therapist will determine the best way to address what is going on.
- Patient Education - the physical therapist will explain exactly what is goin on and what you can do to help the situation. This may also include what things to temporarily avoid.
- Exercises To Make You Better - the physical therapist will explain and guide you on what you need to do to make you better.
The physical therapist will then formulate a list of problems you are having, and how to treat those problems. A plan is subsequently developed with the client's input. This includes how many times you should see the physical therapist per week, how many weeks you will need therapy, home programs, patient education, short-term/long-term goals, and what is expected after discharge from physical therapy. This plan is created with input from you and your physical therapist.
What can I expect when I go see a physical therapist?
You can expect the physical therapist to listen to your story and understand how it impacts your life. They will want to know what you would like to achieve and do everything to get you back to that. They will look at your holistically, to help identify other areas contributing to your problem. This will include a full movement assessment followed with further testing to identify the root cause of the problem. The physical therapist will then explain what is going on and what options you have to fix the problem.
How long do physical therapy treatment sessions last?
This depends on the type of session you request, but typically treatment sessions last 60 minutes.
How many sessions / visits will I need?
This is highly variable. You may need one visit or you may need months of care. It depends on your diagnosis, the severity of your impairments, your past medical history, etc. You will be re-evaluated on a determined basis and when you see your physical therapist, we will provide you with our recommendations.
How much pain will physical therapy cause?
This is a really great question. It’s true that physical therapy is a very physical experience and as such treatments can often be a little uncomfortable at times, but we will always aim to be as gentle as possible and cause the minimal discomfort we possibly can to get your problem solved as fast as we can. Before we do any physical therapy techniques we will tell you exactly what is about to happen whether or not it is likely to hurt and for how long.
More often than not the pain stops as soon as we do, so you only have to tell us to stop and we will. Pain is a side effect to physical therapy that is often unavoidable and most patients eventually concede that the pain is a nice sort of pain ("Hurts So Good"), one they know that is doing them some good and is often no worse than the pain that they are already in. The discomfort usually reduces as treatment progresses and we always advise you on things like ice and heat to help reduce the soreness that might be caused by the treatment.
What injuries do physical therapists see?
Here is a list of the common injuries that we see: This is known as the diagnosis.
- Sacroiliac joint pain and stiffness
- Spinal stenosis
- Core stability weakness
- Disc prolapse / herniated disc / slipped disc / bulging disc
- Muscle spasm and tension
- Rotator cuff tear
- Impingement syndrome
- Neck spondylosis (degeneration)
- Disc prolapse / herniated disc / slipped disc / bulging disc
Knee and Ankle
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Knee cartilage injuries
- Knee ligament injuries
- Ankle sprain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Knee cartilage Injuries
- Post surgery knee rehab
- Pelvic floor disorders
- Urinary incontinence
- Pelvic pain
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pre-and post-pregnancy low back and pelvic joint pain
- Dysfunctions associated with nursing
- Neck and shoulder pain due to nursing posture
- Return to fitness after pregnancy, female athlete specific programs
- Diastasis recti (abdominal separation)
- Scar tissue mobilization after surgery
- C-section recovery
- Other abdominal surgeries
- Osteopenia and osteoporosis
- Sacroiliac / SI and sciatica related pain
Sports injury / Muscles
- Calf strain
- Hamstring strain
- Shoulder muscle tear
- Achilles tendon tear
- Groin strain
- Whiplash associated injury
- TMJ pain
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Any injury requiring massage / soft tissue work
- Gait instabilities / disturbances
- Balance risk / Fall risk
- Functional limitations like community ambulation or stair negotiation
- Activities of daily living difficulties
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