Why Choose Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy is a profession that seeks to return patients to the highest possible degree of personal independence. The Physical Therapist (PT) works with patients with disabilities of the muscular, skeletal, neurological, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Physical therapists are also involved in prevention programs to assist people of all ages in maintaining health and physical fitness.

The physical therapist plans and administers individualized treatment programs that are designed to restore functional movement, relieve pain, promote healing and recovery and, when necessary, help patients adapt to permanent disability. The PT plans the treatment program, evaluates the patient and his or her medical history, and consults with other members of the patient's health care team. 

Tests, observation and interviews provide vital information about a patient's strength, reflexes, sensory perception, posture, gait, cardiopulmonary endurance, and daily living activities. After evaluation, the PT treats the patient through various forms of exercise, physical modalities (including heat, cold, ultrasound, electricity, and massage), functional activities, and assistive/adaptive devices.

The physical therapist exercises judgment in interpreting test results to plan and adjust treatment. Successful physical therapy may take weeks, months or years, depending on the extent of the injury or disability and the patient's motivation.

We have a variety of treatment options depending on the nature of the injury. We have several other methods of treatment including, but not limited to exercise programs in our state-of-the-art gym and home exercise programs:

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a deep heating modality used to promote a healing effect. It can be used to decrease swelling, pain, and muscle spasms. It can also break down scar tissue and increase range of motion. There may be a gentle warming but this treatment should not result in excess heat. Gel, lotion, or water must be used during this treatment to conduct the sound waves. 

Traction

This modality can be applied to the neck or lower back. A machine applies a distraction force to the spine with the goal of decreasing pain and alleviating any neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling. It can be applied with a constant or intermittent pull and is often combined with hot packs.

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Electrical Muscle Stimulation or E-Stim, uses an electrical current to affect the muscles and nerves in order to stimulate the healing process and decrease pain. E-Stim may also be used to create a muscle contraction in order to slow muscle atrophy and reeducate the muscles. Sensations felt during treatment include tingling, buzzing, pricking, and/or tightening of the muscles.

Iontophoresis

This modality utilizes an electrical current to primarily decrease inflammation. The treatment pad is filled with medication called dexamethasone, used most commonly because sometimes acetic acid is used on bone spurs. The electrical current is then used to drive the medication through the skin and into the inflamed tissues. It is common to feel a prickling sensation during this treatment, but it should not feel like burning. There may be some skin irritation but this should go away within 24 hours. This treatment can also be done with pads that utilize small batteries to provide the current. In this case, the pads are worn for 6-24 hours and nothing is felt during the treatment.

Massage Therapy

Massage is a form of soft tissue manipulation that is used to decrease muscle spasms, decrease pain and swelling, break down scar tissue, decrease soreness and tightness in the muscles, and stimulate healing. There are different types of massage that may involve stroking, kneading, rubbing, pinching, or shaking the tissues.

Cold Packs/Cryocuff

Cold applied to the area decreases the flow of the fluid into the tissue and slows the release of chemicals that cause pain and inflammation. The Cryocuff provides the benefits of cold combined with some compression to further work on decreasing swelling.

Hot Packs

Hot packs are used in treatment to improve tissue healing, increase range of motion, decrease joint stiffness, decrease pain, alleviate muscle spasms, and provide relaxation. Hot packs are kept at 170° and should feel hot to warm, but not feel too hot or burning.

Paraffin Bath

The paraffin bath is a mixture of paraffin wax and mineral oil. It is primarily used in the treatment of hands and wrists with the goal of increasing range of motion, decreasing stiffness, promoting healing, decreasing pain, and alleviating muscle spasms.

 
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