Many patients may benefit from Physical Therapy. Physical Therapy should be considered as a first-line treatment option as many people respond well to a combination of manual treatment, exercise, and patient education. Your surgeon may suggest you go to therapy to potentially avoid surgery, strengthen preoperatively, or for postoperative rehabilitation.
How will a Physical Therapist help?
A PT is a specialist trained to help you restore your strength, range of motion, and activity level following either injury or surgery. Your therapist will initially evaluate you and may perform a series of assessments such as a postural assessment, gait analysis, balance assessment. They will also examine your strength and flexibility and determine any imbalances, assess your joints for ligament laxities, perform neurological testing, special orthopedic tests, and assess for any soft tissue restrictions that may be contributing to your underlying problem. The evaluation is extensive and will allow your therapist to develop a plan of care, which will be established in consultation with your Surgeon. The plan may include specific exercises, stretches, manual therapy techniques, and patient education. Collectively the plan will help control pain, expedite healing, and allow you to return to your prior level of activity level pain-free.
What will I be doing at physical therapy?
Overall, your plan of care and the techniques that support that plan will depend on your specific injury and needs. After an initial evaluation, which, occurs during your first visit, your therapist may perform joint or soft tissue mobilization in order to increase range of motion, correct misalignments, or increase tissue healing. Your therapists may also perform modalities such as electrical stimulation to help alleviate pain and expedite healing. You will most likely be taught specific exercises and stretches to help strengthen underused or injured muscles and increase range of motion. The most important role in your own healing will be to follow an individualized home exercise program that will increase your recovery time when you follow it faithfully and consistently.
How long should I expect to attend Physical Therapy?
Usually, your doctor will refer you to attend 2-3 visits per week for 4wks-6wks on average Depending on your problem you may require more or less time. Post-surgical patients can usually expect a longer duration depending on the surgical procedure.
Where should I go for PT?
Your surgeon will recommend a specific therapist or therapy clinic based on your individual needs.