The first thing any patient attending physical therapy should expect upon arriving at their therapists’ offices is to undergo a comprehensive assessment. This will involve taking a detailed medical history, evaluating the patient’s current physical state and injuries, and discussing treatment goals. Once these goals have been defined, patients will have a variety of physical therapy options at their disposal, a few of which are described below.
Experts agree that manual therapy should constitute the backbone of just about any treatment plan. It often includes tactics such as stretching, exercise education, and massage. This hands-on approach is the fundamental factor distinguishing physical therapists from other treatment providers and is used to treat a wide variety of injuries and conditions.
One of the most important aspects of manual therapy is exercise education. Physical therapists use targeted exercise plans to help their patients prevent pain and reinjury and keep in good health after a serious injury. They should expect their exercise plans to incorporate targeted muscle-strengthening techniques and exercises chosen to address muscular imbalances and improve mobility.
Heat and Cold Therapy
The application of heat has been proven to decrease pain and increase mobility after injuries involving muscular spasms or tightness. It makes the patient’s affected tissues more pliable, allowing therapists to stretch the affected area. Cold therapy, on the other hand, is used to constrict the blood vessels in order to reduce inflammation immediately after an injury and enhance manual therapy by increasing joint mobility.
This form of therapy is most frequently used to treat connective tissue injuries. It works by using sound waves to generate heat in the body, loosening up the patient’s tissues to prepare them for manual therapy or targeted exercises. Ultrasound therapy has been shown to increase ligament-healing speed and while it may sound intimidating, it is completely safe and effective.
Patients who have recently undergone amputations often head to physical therapists for help learning to use their new prosthetic limbs. Those who have been suffering from mobility difficulties can also learn more about available assistive devices such as canes and walkers and how to properly use them. Improving balance and coordination can be essential for elderly patients who stand to injure themselves due to unexpected falls.
Get Started Today
Ready to head to therapy and not sure how to get started? Visit ReachPTNYC.com to learn more about one of the city’s most highly-acclaimed physical rehabilitation facilities or get in touch to schedule an appointment for an initial assessment today.