THERAPY - A SUCCESS STORY
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SHOULD YOU SEE A PHYSICAL THERAPIST?
A variety of implements or equipment used to aid patients in performing tasks or movements. Assistive devices include crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, power devices, long-handled reachers, and static and dynamic splints. Therapists will fit and instruct the patient in the use and care of the assistive device with the goal being optimal independence and safety .
Positive physical therapy results are largely dependent on a person's adherence to a specific exercise regime that is established by a Physical Therapist. Individual home programs are written, taught, and monitored closely by the therapist through the duration of one's therapy with progressive modifications that are based on the individual's needs, progress and established goals.
Balance is the ability
to maintain the body in equilibrium with gravity both statically (e.g.
while stationary) and dynamically (e.g. while walking). Persons with balance
/ coordination deficits due to trauma, disease, stroke or other impairment
are assisted through physical therapy in improving their balance by following
individual treatment plans established by a physical therapist after a
thorough evaluation. Treatment plans may include balance activities, sensory
training, ambulation training possibly with an assistive device, therapeutic
exercise and modalities as appropriate.
You don't have to live with the pain! Providing specialized treatment to control back and neck pain related to acute and chronic spine conditions. Involves intensive rehabilitation of the spine in order to return the patient to a maximum level of function. Rehabilitation will consist of individualized exercises, training in proper posture, body mechanics, lifting techniques, and pain management.
A prosthesis is an artificial device, often mechanical used to replace a missing part of the body. Prosthetic training involves working with an amputee on overall conditioning as well as specific stretching and strengthening of the involved limb and training in the use and wearing of the prosthesis. Therapy also emphasizes care of the amputation site, and performance of tasks of daily living with the prosthesis. An orthosis is a device that supports weak or ineffective joints or muscles, such as a splint, brace, shoe insert, or cast. Orthotic training concentrates on the increase of motion, function, and use of a limb that requires an orthosis for support. Therapy also emphasizes balance and coordination of activities.
Whirlpool is a water bath in which water is agitated by an electric turbine. Whirlpools come in various shapes and sizes, but all work on the same principles. Warm whirlpools are a source of moist heat and are used to increase local metabolism, promote muscle relaxation, sedate sensory nerve endings, and to increase cell permeability to aid with healing. The agitation in a whirlpool can increase lymphatic circulation, assist in the removal of debris and keeps the water at a constant temperature throughout the tank. Whirlpools are used to treat open wounds, burns, subacute and chronic traumatic or inflammatory conditions, and peripheral vascular disease or peripheral nerve injuries.
A broad range of activities intended to improve strength, range of motion (including muscle length), cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, or to otherwise increase a person's functional capacity. An individualized program is established, taught and monitored by a physical therapist/assistant that is based on an initial evaluation and aimed at achieving specific goals.
Therapy programs may follow specific protocols or individualized treatment plans with the aim of therapy being the return of strength, function and mobility. The programs may involve a variety of treatment options with goals set for the patient to resume normal activities of living as much as possible are established by a physical therapist after a thorough evaluation. In-hospital and skilled units may involve the inclusion of other therapeutic disciplines (i.e. speech therapy, occupational therapy, art therapy, etc.), depending on the patient's needs.
The therapeutic use of manual or mechanical tension created by a pulling force to produce a combination of distraction and gliding to relieve pain and increase tissue flexibility. Indications for traction therapy include, but are not limited to, decreased sensation that temporarily improves with manual traction, increased muscle tone that is reduced with manual traction, extremity pain or tingling that is temporarily relieved with manual traction, spinal nerve root impediment due to bulging, herniated or protruding disc, and muscle spasms that are causing nerve root impingement and general hypomobility of lumbar or cervical spine regions. Electric traction units exert a pulling force through a rope with various halters and straps.
A superficial thermal modality using paraffin wax and mineral oil. Paraffin is a means of delivering heat, especially to areas that are difficult to heat with anything but a liquid medium, i.e. hands and feet. The effects of paraffin are: increase of local metabolism, increased local perspiration, promotion of muscle relaxation, sedation of sensory nerve endings reducing pain and softening of the skin. Paraffin bath can be used for subacute, chronic traumatic, and inflammatory conditions. All jewelry is removed prior to treatment. The area to be treated is washed and examined for temperature sensation and skin integrity then the patient dips the extremity into the paraffin. During the treatment, layers of paraffin build up on the area being treated and the paraffin is allowed to harden. At the conclusion of the treatment, the paraffin is pealed off and the therapist may do massage or have the patient do stretching exercises to the area that was treated.
Modality is a term
used to identify a broad group of agents that may include thermal acoustic,
radiant, mechanical, or electric energy to produce physiological changes
in tissues for therapeutic purposes.
Ultrasound is a name given to sound waves that are of such high frequency that they are not detectable by the human ear. The sound waves when applied to human tissue are absorbed by the various tissues with the production of heat. Ultrasound does penetrate heat into human tissues deeper that any other heat modality, 4-6 cm. The benefits of heat from ultrasound include promotion of muscle relaxation, increased local metabolism, and reduction of pain by sedating nerve endings. Ultrasound waves also have non-thermal benefits resulting from vibration of molecules. These effects include increases in the flexibility of connective tissues such as joint capsules, ligaments, tendons, adhesions, scars and cellular membrane permeability that accelerates healing. Therapeutic ultrasound is a safe and effective tool for treating a variety of conditions that a physical therapist commonly encounters. Pulsed and continuous modes allow for ultrasound to be used for both acute and chronic cases, and ultrasound is most effective as part of an overall treatment plan, including stretching, therapeutic exercise, and mobilization.
Intermittent compression pumps are pneumatic pumps designed to apply external pressure to a swollen body part. The amount of pressure and the time for which it is applied are adjustable according to condition and persons blood pressure. Some appliances have multiple compartments with separate tubes and controls. These chambers can be filled sequentially and in some cases to different pressures. External pressure, when applied to a swollen extremity, will help to reduce edema by moving the fluid in the extremity to sites of normal lymphatic or venous drainage. Intermittent compression pumps are used to treat post-mastectomy lymphedema, venous insufficiency, amputations and traumatic edema.
Intervention through the application of electricity. Electrical stimulation of individual muscles is a means of providing exercise to muscles that the patient is unable to contract voluntarily. If the muscle has lost its physical connection with its nerve supply (is denervated), electrical stimulation can maintain nutrition of the muscle through promoting blood flow, decrease fibrotic changes and retard denervation atrophy. Electric stimulation used on muscles that have a nerve supply (are innervated) can strengthen healthy muscle, prevent or reverse disuse atrophy, maintain or improve mobility, promote peripheral circulation and prevent fibrotic changes. There are various types of electrical stimulation in use today and the type used and its specific application depends on the goals of treatment.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a generic name for a method of nerve stimulation designed to control pain. There are now a variety of TENS units designed for specific modes of application. The different modes are identified by their parameter ranges of amplitude, frequency and pulse width. The units are small, battery powered, and light weight weighing only a few ounces. Electrodes are placed on the skin near the area of pain and are attached to the TENS unit. A physical therapist/assistant instructs the patient on the positioning of the electrodes and the duration and frequency of the treatment and also sets the parameters for the amplitude, frequency and pulse width based on the patient's individual needs. The TENS unit is used at home by the patient for use as instructed as part of a comprehensive treatment program designed for the appropriate management of pain.
Fascia is the interwoven connective tissue that surrounds our muscles and internal organs. Fascia shrinks when it is inflamed, is slow to heal because of poor blood supply, and painful when inflamed because of its rich nerve supply. Myofascial restrictions occur when the fascia is disrupted or stretched by any injury, no matter how minor. Myofascial release is a therapeutic stretching technique that relies entirely upon the feedback received by the therapist from the patient nonverbally through the patient's tissues. Myofascial release removes restrictions that impede efficient movement and use of energy for daily tasks. Myofascial release is often incorporated in a patient's therapeutic treatment plan along with other exercises and/or modalities.