Understanding Orthopedic PT

Orthopedic Physical Therapy is a specialized field of medicine that involves the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. A physical therapist is well trained to provide complete assessment and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal disorders that can occur in the knee, shoulder, hip, spine, ankle, elbow and ankle. Orthopedic physical therapy helps to develop strength, functional ability, balance and coordination of the musculoskeletal system. Some of the benefits of orthopedic physical therapy include development of lifelong mobility; prevention and reduction of pain and disability; maintenance of health and optimal functioning of the body; and prevention of further injury.

Improve Function – following an accident, attempting to return to where you once were before can often be very difficult. The Orthopedic Physical Therapy experience can specifically provide you with customized treatments so as to increase range of motion and mobility, thus reducing pain. Reduce/eliminate pain – ultrasound, cold laser, electric stimulation, taping and specific exercises can all be used in order to reduce pain and strengthen muscles and joints.

Strengthen Your Body – muscles, tendons and ligaments are some of the structures that make up your body. As you age, these structures weaken, causing tension and stress on surrounding tissues, resulting in pain and other complications. Orthopedic physical therapy uses techniques and equipment in order to restore the strength of your musculoskeletal system and to reduce the stress on surrounding tissues. In addition, orthopedic physical therapy often incorporates exercises that are specially designed to improve flexibility and balance. In fact, many sports organizations recommend physical therapists for athletes as a means of recovering from injury.

Recovery is Possible – orthopedic physical therapy is not limited to the recovery of specific injuries. The goal of this form of treatment is to develop a complete rehabilitation program for patients who have suffered a trauma, but whose muscles, tendons and ligaments have not been permanently injured. The goal of orthopedic physical therapy is to ensure that your entire musculoskeletal system is functioning at its highest level following an injury. This type of rehabilitation is also beneficial for those patients suffering from a more extensive injury which has resulted in significant loss of function. It is common for physical therapists to recommend this form of rehabilitation following surgery.

Types of Orthopedic PT’s – there are several types of orthopedic PT’s that may be recommended by your physical therapist. These types of PT’s include ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation (EMIS), and ultrasound guided manipulation (USG). Each one addresses a different aspect of your body’s anatomy, allowing your therapist to target soft tissues in unique ways and to work with a range of movements and techniques. There are specific programs available to address these modalities. These modalities can range from simple exercises and stretches to more complex therapeutic procedures such as EMG, USG and ultrasound guided removal. Your PT will determine exactly which program is right for you.

Post-Surgical Care – your orthopedic physical therapy therapist will also help you after surgery by restoring movement and function to your neck, back, wrists and shoulders. During the recovery process it is common for a patient to experience pain. Your therapist will help you identify any pain restrictions and devise a program to manage those pain limitations. Once you resume normal daily activities, you will gradually regain the strength and ability to perform your normal daily activities.

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