What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists take a two-step approach to treating patients. Therapists begin by evaluating and assessing patients. Then they create a customized treatment plan for patients.
The evaluation and assessment process depends on your injury. However, it is likely that you will be evaluated to determine your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. The therapist might also need to evaluate your level of pain, joint mobility, and neurological function. Your cardiac and pulmonary function also might require an assessment.
Then you will begin physical therapy treatment. Many people are surprised by all of the treatment options available with a physical therapist. Therapists use modalities, manual therapy techniques, and exercises to treat patients. When combined, this is a very effective treatment protocol that gets results for a wide range of issues.
Physical Therapy Modalities
Physical therapy modalities are an important part of the treatment process. Modalities are used to restore function and promote healing while reducing pain. Physical therapists have various modalities at their disposal. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.
Physical therapists often use ultrasounds to treat patients. Ultrasounds help broken bones heal and are even used for plantar fasciitis and other injuries. Ultrasounds promote blood flow to the injured area, speeding up the healing process dramatically while also alleviating the pain.
Electrical stimulation is also common during physical therapy. Therapists attach electrodes to the injured area and deliver electrical stimulation. This reduces pain and improves function. Therapists might even send patients home with a TENS unit, so they can continue to receive electrical stimulation at home. This makes it easier for patients to return to their favorite activities much faster.
Additional modalities include heat, ice, and light therapy. In each case, therapists evaluate the patient to determine which modalities will deliver the necessary results for the patients.
Manual Therapy Techniques
Therapists also use manual therapy techniques to patients. Physical therapists are trained to use their hands to manipulate soft tissue and joints. The right movements alleviate pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, and improve movement. This is usually our patients’ favorite part of physical therapy. It’s generally relaxing, and patients discover they feel quite a bit better after manual therapy.
Physical Therapy Exercises
Exercise and warm-up exercises are also an important part of physical therapy. These exercises are divided up into categories. You will likely need exercises to improve your strength, range of motion, and flexibility. You also might require exercises for functional mobility and balance.
Your therapist might provide you with tools for the exercises. For example, your therapist might have you complete exercises with foam rollers or resistance bands. You also might need to get on a bike or wobble board or use free weights for your exercises.
When you leave therapy, your therapist will also likely provide you with a list of modified exercises you can complete at home. It is important that you follow through with your exercises at home, so you can heal and regain your mobility as quickly as possible. When you do this, maintain proper form, so you will achieve the optimal results.
What Are the Expected Outcomes of Physical Therapy?
Outcomes of the rehabilitation process are focused on the patient’s return to his/her performance of the activities of daily living. The fundamental purpose of the treatment plan is to integrate newly acquired gains in flexibility, strength and coordination and apply them to how the individual functions at home and at work. In effect, the physical therapist helps to ensure that the healing process continues and promotes the musculoskeletal abnormality.
Your physical therapist will work to help you regain mobility and function without pain. That is the main goal, but there are other benefits as well.
For example, your physical therapist can help you avoid surgery. Countless patients have regained their function and mobility without surgery by using this non-invasive therapy. That helps patients save money and also allows them to recover much faster.
Your therapist can also help you avoid suffering from an additional injury. Your therapist will evaluate the injury and look for ways that future injuries can be avoided. This might include building up other muscles or teaching you techniques to avoid suffering another issue in the future. This is especially important for athletes who are prone to reinjuring the same body part over and over again. You do not need to be an athlete to benefit from this, though.
Why Choose Medical Care of Western New York at Buffalo?
When you go to physical therapy at Medical Care of Western New York at Buffalo, you will have access to everything that you need in one beautiful location. Our newly renovated medical office has a variety of specialists under one roof. These specialists can all work together to treat your condition.
For example, you can see your general practitioner and get a referral for an MRI offsite to ensure that your injury is healing. Then you can head over to your physical therapist for your treatment.
If you were to go to another office, you would have to coordinate appointments all over the city. You would run from one appointment to the next, and that would add to the stress.
As an added benefit, our office also coordinates care across all providers. You don’t just see a provider when you visit our traditional medical office. You see members of your treatment team who work together to provide treatment modalities designed to facilitate the road to recovery.
Don’t Live With Pain
If you have pain and mobility issues, you have to put your life on hold. You might not be able to go to work, have dinner with friends, or even take care of your obligations at home. Most importantly, you have a hard time finding joy in life. It’s no way to live, and fortunately, there is a way out.
Call today to schedule an appointment. Once you are in the system, you can get all the care you need in a single spot. Your care team will work tirelessly to restore your function and mobility while freeing you from debilitating pain. With our help, you can get your life back.
How to Get Started
1. To start Physical Therapy you will need a PRESCRIPTION from a physician or referring doctor/specialist.
2. Call our office at 716-883-0515, press option 1 to be connected to our physical therapy department. You will be scheduled within 48 hours from the time of your call for an initial evaluation.
Insurances We Accept for Physical Therapy
We accept all major insurances. Click HERE for our insurance list.
Through a bit of hard work, patient education and training, we can assist you in trying to achieve the quality of life you had prior to your injury. We look forward to providing treatment modalities designed to facilitate the road to recovery here at Medical Care of Western New York.
FAQ About Physical Therapy
How Long Should A Physical Therapy Session Last?
A typical time frame for a physical therapy session is between 30 and 60 minutes each. You could have just one appointment a week, or more it all depends on your situation. The more progress you have the more likely you are to see a chance in frequency and length of your appointments. During your physical therapy session, you will learn a multitude of new techniques to help you with your healing.
What Happens When You Go to Physical Therapy?
The first thing that happens when you go to physical therapy is you will be assessed and examined. This helps the Physical Therapy team figure out the right course of treatment. They will ask you questions such as “what is your pain level”? Also, “When and where are you feeling pain”? The next step is to evaluate you on things such as your balance, posture, mobility and range of motion.
Is Physical Therapy Painful?
There are times when physical therapy can be painful. An example of this would be trying to recover after surgery. When you try to regain motion after having an operation done you can expect to possibly have a small amount of pain. Your physical therapist will do the best they can to make you comfortable while also trying to reach your goals for recovery. If you do have pain it is crucial to let your physical therapist know the amount of pain, you are having and how often you are having it.
Are Physical Therapists Allowed to Diagnose?
Some physicians may argue that Doctor of Physical Therapy are not allowed to diagnose. There is not a single state that prohibits a physical therapist from making a diagnosis. When you are seeing a physical therapist, it is crucial to your treatment plan for them to make the proper interventions. A physical therapy diagnosis is also known as a functional diagnosis. The point of this is to diagnose impairments in the movement system to improve your health.
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