Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Orthopedic physical therapy involves the management, diagnosis, and treatment of injuries of the musculoskeletal system including rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, fractures, trauma, sprains, strains, and tendinopathy.
Your physical therapy sessions will start with the evaluation to determine functional limitations, pain, motion restrictions, strength deficits and how your condition is impairing your life. From that initial evaluation you, your physical therapist, and your other medical providers will work together to come up with a treatment plan centered around you and your individual needs.
There are many different treatments physical therapists use to improve your quality of life, get you moving and back to the activities you love.
Therapeutic exercises are exercises performed with the supervision of a physical therapist aimed at restoring strength, power, endurance, range of motion, decreasing pain, improving balance, and restoring function.
The exercises given to you be the physical therapist will be individualized to your personal needs based on the evaluation. Also, your physical therapist will give you a tailored exercise program for self management of your condition at home.
Manual Therapy includes hands-on techniques such as manipulation or mobilization by the physical therapist to modulate pain. Manual therapy can also be used to increase range of motion (ROM), reduce or eliminate soft tissue inflammation, cause relaxation, improve tissue repair, facilitate movement, and improve function.
This differs from massage therapy in that physical therapists may direct treatment towards specific muscle tissue and/or the joint structures. Additionally, your therapist may include thrust techniques for the spine or extremity joints. Lastly, your treatment may also include instrumentation to assist the physical therapist; such as belts, wedges, or massage tools (for graston or IASTM).
Neuromuscular Re-education is a method of retraining the way you move to improve function, decrease pain, and decrease disability. Often when Neuromuscular Re-Education is used by physical therapists, it is used after an insult to the nervous system or stroke.
In the context of orthopedics, it is used to improve balance or to improve movement patterns to decrease the risk of repetitive strain injuries by improving biomechanics.
Self Care involves the physical therapist teaching you how to treat and manage your own conditions. There are many techniques and treatments that can only be performed in the clinic, however there is a lot you can do on your own at home.
These things including teaching you techniques to manage your pain such as instructing you on how to properly ice at home, how to modify your sleeping postures, how to foam roll, etc.
This part of your treatment is important to encourage self efficacy and empower you to feel you have control over your symptoms.
Modalities include the use of heat, cold, light, sound, strapping/bracing, or electricity to reduce pain, improve tissue healing, increase blood flow, and reduce swelling. These treatments go under names such as kinesio-tape, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, cold laser, light therapy, ice or hot pack. These treatments alone will not get you better, but can assist when combined with more active treatments listed above.
Our goal in physical therapy always has been to get the individuals back to function as much as possible. This should help patients recreate the pattern by giving support and allowing the therapist to use neurodynamic resistance and assistance in moving the body forward