I have a limited time to attend therapy. How can I receive the most efficient treatment?
Our therapist will work with you to develop the best plan for your needs. Let us know your concerns and/or schedule restrictions and we will work to accommodate you as best we can. We aim to achieve an optimal balance between your valuable time and your rehabilitation needs. Our therapy plans are highly varied from patient to patient and can change week to week (or even session by session) in order to help you achieve your therapy goals.
What can I do to help my therapist best understand my symptoms and future goals?
It is best to look for improvement in function. It can be helpful to develop a list of tasks that give you trouble. This allows your therapist to help you troubleshoot these activities. Report to your therapist when an activity has gotten easier or achieved. We document it! Telling us that you are stronger is good, but telling us that you can “now pick up your laundry basket” is even better. Be specific. Feel free to create a “working list” of functional activities that give you trouble, and we will address each task throughout your treatment program. One of our primary goals is to assist you in returning to your highest level of function possible.
What happens in a therapy session?
There’s always an element of patient education to help people discover what they are doing on a daily basis that could be contributing to their problem. The physical therapist may need to re-educate a person on lifting something correctly or moving properly.
During a PT session, the therapist usually applies hands-on techniques such as joint mobilization for a stiff joint, or soft-tissue work of stretching or massaging tight muscles. Some physical therapists also do manual manipulation, which uses careful, directed manual force to improve mobility in joints, connective tissue or skeletal muscles.
PT always involves exercises of some sort, from a low-level stretch all the way to a well-rounded strengthening program. Physical therapy modalities are rehabilitation technologies that relieve pain, reduce swelling, decrease muscle spasms and improve circulation. These modalities include ultrasound, trigger-point pressure, dry needling, soft-tissue oscillation, electrical stimulation, traction, biofeedback, heat and ice. The exercise prescription and hands-on techniques are central to each PT session.
Why does physical therapy take longer than I had thought?
Physical therapy is not a quick fix. PT follows the way our anatomy and bodies operate. There’s a certain amount of time that is required for certain types of tissue in the body to repair themselves. If you try to speed up the process, you could experience a re-injury. So physical therapy takes some patience and perseverance, and you’ve got to keep up with the program to experience the gains. Physical recovery happens in stages, and you have to be present for the whole program, from beginning to end, if you want lasting results.