Physical Therapy

Walking walking in Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT) is the practice of rehabilitation of functional mobility after an illness, injury or disease. Treatments may include gait, balance and transfer training, exercise programs, manual therapy, and possibly the use of physical modalities – such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound/phonophoresis, iontophoresis or thermotherapies. Physical therapy also offers specialty programs for treatment of lymphedema, vestibular (dizziness) issues, pelvic floor issue (bowel, bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic pain) and dry needling.

Physical therapists provide treatment of joints, spine, soft tissue issues, and neurological problems. Patients are seen before and after surgery or injury, and treatments may include flexibility training, range of motion exercises, muscle strengthening, education on posture and body mechanics, and pain management.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

A physical therapist is a health care professional working to restore function and reducing pain in individuals who have experienced mobility issues, balance issues, vestibular or vertigo issues, injury, illness, or disability. He or she often works as part of a team of medical professionals to provide hands on therapy and guided exercises restoring movement patterns and maximizing function. Your rehab program will include education regarding your plan of care insuring you understand the healing process and to help prevent future injuries. A physical therapist is a licensed medical professional with an advanced degree from an accredited academic program. In addition, many physical therapists pursue advanced certifications in specialty areas such as manual therapy, sports medicine, orthopedics, neurology, chronic pain, lymphedema and pelvic health. 

  • Identify functional limitations and diagnose the condition of each patient.
  • Identify underlying movement or tissue problems creating functional limitations of each patient
  • Develop a personalized treatment plan to restore maximum movement and prevent further disability.
  • Individualize treatment plans address unique needs and goals of each patient, maximizing movement, minimizing impairments and preventing future injury.
  • Utilize a holistic approach to not only recover from injury and improve mobility, but also improve their overall health and well being
  • Coordinate care with other providers and therapists, such as occupational therapist, speech therapist, primary care providers, or other specialist to help you reach your goal
Commonly Treated Conditions

Depending on your location, conditions treated may include: 

  • Balance problems and unstable walking
  • Bowel or bladder issues
  • Chronic pain
  • Common muscle, bone and joint injuries such as back, neck, knee or shoulder pain
  • Concussion
  • Headaches
  • Lymphedema
  • Neurological therapy for muscular dystrophy and other neurological disorders - including strokes
  • Orthopedic therapy for bone and joint injuries disabilities and post-surgery
  • Pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Sports related injuries and rehabilitation (sprains, strains, and fractures)
  • TMJ for jaw joint problems
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vertigo and other vestibular and balance related problems
Common Treatment Options

Depending on your location, treatment options may include:

  • Aquatic therapy
  • Balance training
  • Chronic/persistent pain treatment and pain neuroscience education
  • Coordination exercises and activities
  • Exercise prescription to improve functional mobility, independence, and quality of life
  • Gait training
  • Joint mobilization
  • Manual therapy including joint mobilizations
  • Modalities such as e-stim, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser therapy, cold and heat agents
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (E-Stim, NMES)
  • Neuromuscular re-education
  • Orthotics/ prosthetics/ mobility specialist consultations
  • Posture and body mechanic education
  • Splinting
  • Strength, stretching and endurance activities

What to Expect

What to Wear
We recommend loose, comfortable clothing and supportive shoes. Depending on the area being treated, shorts or a tank top may be beneficial. It would be less appropriate to wear clothing or shoes that can be restrictive such as jeans, heels, flip-flops, etc.
Q & A
You and your therapist will sit down and discuss your current conditions together. This will include questions regarding your diagnosis such as what happened and when, what increases/ decreases your symptoms and what goals you have.
Test and Measures
Your therapist will gather various measurements. Specifically your therapist will look at your motion, flexibility, strength and perform special tests indicated for your diagnosis. These results will help your therapist assess your condition and determine your treatment plan.
Education and Scheduling
After collect information, your therapist will discuss their findings and help you understand "why" something is happening. The treatment plan moving forward, goals and what to expect from your therapy sessions will be discussed. Based on the treatment plan the therapist will help determine a schedule frequency that works with and for you.
Home Exercises
Your therapist will likely give you a few exercises on day one. This is important to jump start the treatment plan. Your compliance and participation with these at home exercises will help you reach your therapy goals.