Physical therapy is an aspect of the health field that is concerned with maximizing your physical well being and quality of life. Treatments focus on diagnosis and rehabilitation of health conditions, illnesses and injuries which limit your movement, function and quality of life.
What to Expect
ProCare Physical Therapy works collaboratively with your doctor, specialist, family, coach, caregiver and employer to ensure you receive the highest level of care to help you return to your highest quality of life and full function. Your treatment is provided by a licensed physical therapist (PT), who will commonly work closely with a licensed physical therapist assistant (PTA).
Your PT will use your medical history, physical findings and special tests to create a personalized plan of care, and identify your full potential for recovery. The type and number of treatments will depend on your diagnosis and the severity of your condition.
At ProCare Physical Therapy, our goal is to develop, maintain and restore your movement, functional capacity and quality of life throughout your life span. As physical therapists, we provide a non-surgical option for your recovery and can often can achieve improvement simply through the appropriate exercises, manual therapy treatments and patient education.
If you follow these strategies, you will be giving yourself the best chance at recovery and better enable us to help you reach your physical therapy goals.
- Commit to Better Health
- Use this opportunity to establish some new health habits.
- Commit to your scheduled appointments: Each visit builds on the one before and you will see compounding results when you attend your scheduled sessions.
- Consistently follow your physical therapist's specific recommendations to improve your sitting, standing and lying posture.
- Become more aware of your posture and the effect that good posture has on how well you feel and move.
- Become More Active
- Research proves that bed rest or a sedentary lifestyle can impeded your recovery from an injury and slow your rehabilitation process.
- Give Yourself Time to Heal
- Healing is a process that takes time. Your age, diagnosis, lifestyle and compliance will all impact your recovery.
- Keep a Positive Attitude
- Ask questions. Understand why you are doing what you are doing.
- Be ready to accept your physical therapist's sincere encouragement.
- We are optimistic and want you to feel the same! Patients with a positive attitude and outlook recover in less time.
There are many benefits to participating in a physical therapy program. Here are some of the major ones that every patient can profit from.
- Improve Mobility & Motion - At ProCare, our physical therapists pride themselves on their ability to improve your quality of life by helping you reduce your pain and move freely again. Each therapist has received specialized education focusing on human anatomy, biology, physics and kinesiology. They have a comprehensive understanding of how the body moves will work very hard to ensure you are as mobile as possible. Our physical therapists are trusted health care professionals who will work closely with you to evaluate your condition and develop an effective, personalized plan of care that will likely include range of motion and flexibility training coupled with strengthening and balance exercises.
- Avoid Surgery - Physical therapy provides effective treatments for relief of symptoms for diagnosis such as, but not limited to; carpal tunnel, ankle sprains, back pain, neck pain and osteoarthritis. Research shows that comprehensive medical management, along with physical therapy, is as effective as surgery when it comes to relieving stiffness and pain associated with osteoarthritis. Ask our physical therapists about designing an exercise program for you that can improve your mobility as well as help protect you from injury and even avoid surgery.
- Reduce the Risk of Injury - Everyday activities like simple housework or playing ball with your kids may seem harmless, but many of our patients are injured doing these simple tasks. Our physical therapists are able to design a personalized treatment plan to improve your flexibility, muscle strength and coordination and reduce your risk of injury, allowing you to enjoy these basic activities for years to come.
- Eliminate Pain Without Medication - Research shows individuals who have received physical therapy have decreased pain levels and a greater improvement in function than those who have not. Our physical therapists are trained to help reduce and manage pain, no matter what part of your body hurts. The American Heart Association encourages seeing a physical therapist to treat the pain associated with joint problems (rheumatoid arthritis), tendinitis/bursitis, and degenerative joint problems (osteoarthritis) instead of prescription pain medication. In many cases, our physical therapist can help you manage or alleviate your pain without invasive methods like surgery or expensive pain medications.
- Improve Balance and Prevent Falls - The elderly are at the greatest risk for falls and balance related injuries. According to the National Aging Council one in two senior citizens over the age of 80 and one in three senior citizens over 65 years of age will fall at least once this year These falls can result in serious injury, disability and even death. Some falls can result in an inability to lead an independent, active lifestyle. Our physical therapists can help prevent these injuries by using exercises and activities in an individualized treatment program to improve flexibility, strength, balance and proper gait.
- Recover From Stroke - The number three cause of death in the U.S, and the leading cause of serious long-term disability is a Cerebral Vascular Accident, or better known as a stroke. Our physical therapists can help you cope with physical losses associated with stroke and increase your ability to move. Your physical therapist will work with your physician to develop an individualized treatment plan. This will likely include exercise to increase movement, facilitate independence, and help regain your quality of life after suffering from a stroke.
- Live With Diabetes - Approximately 24 million adults and children in the United States are affected by diabetes. Most people do not realize that a physical therapist can help control your glucose and fight complications of this disease by designing a personalized treatment program. While aerobic exercise is often recommended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, a recent study found that adding high-force strength training to an aerobic program offered significant advantages, helping to improve glucose control, increase strength, and reduce the risk of falls among study participants. People with diabetes often have reduced muscle mass, and, as a result, mobility. Adding resistance training to a diabetes treatment program leads to improved lean tissue which, in turn, may be an important way to increase resting metabolic rate, protein reserve, exercise tolerance, and functional mobility. As experts in motion, physical therapists are ideally suited to help people with diabetes safely and effectively address their loss of movement.
There are many different forms and variations of treatments in physical therapy but these are the major areas of that we at ProCare focus on.
- Exercise - Exercise is anything you do in addition to your regular daily activity that will improve your flexibility, strength, coordination, or endurance. It even includes changing how you do your regular activities to give you some health benefits. For example, if you park a little farther away from the door of the grocery store, the extra distance you walk is exercise. Physical therapy nearly always involves exercise of some kind that is specifically designed for your injury, illness, condition, or to help prevent future health problems. Exercise can include stretching to reduce stress on joints, core stability exercises to strengthen the muscles of your trunk (your back and abdomen) and hips, lifting weights to strengthen muscles, walking, doing water aerobics, and many other forms of activity. Your physical therapist is likely to teach you how to do an exercise program on your own at home so you can continue to work toward your fitness goals and prevent future problems.
- Manual therapy- Manual therapy is a general term for treatment performed with the hands and not with any other devices or machines. The goals of manual therapy include relaxation, less pain, and more flexibility. Manual therapy includes:
- Joint mobilization, which uses slow, measured movements to twist, pull, or push bones and joints into position. This can help loosen tight tissues around a joint and help with flexibility and alignment.
- Joint manipulation, which uses rapid, forceful movements to position the bones and joints. This is a more aggressive treatment. Discuss the pros and cons of manipulation with your doctor or physical therapist.
- Soft tissue mobilization, which includes a variety treatments to reduce non-bony restrictions in tissues such as muscles, tendons and fascia; to help reduce pain, improve flexibility and improve range of motion.
- Education- Physical therapy almost always includes education and training in areas such as:
- Performing your daily tasks safely
- Protecting your joints and avoiding reinjury.
- Using assistive devices such as crutches or wheelchairs.
- Doing home exercises designed to help with your injury or condition.
- Making your home safe for you if you have strength, balance, or vision problems.
- Specialized treatments- In some locations, physical therapists are specially trained to be involved in other types of treatment, including:
- Vestibular rehabilitation, which helps your inner ear respond to changes in your body position. This is helpful if you have problems with vertigo, or a feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning or tilting when there is actually no movement. Our physical therapists can help you get used to the problem so you know when to expect it. And rehab can train your body to know how to react.
- Wound care. Wounds that are very severe or don't heal well, often because of poor blood flow to the area, can require extensive care. This may include special cleaning and bandaging on a regular and long-term basis. Other treatments are sometimes used to promote healing of the wound.
- Women's health. Physical therapists often work with women on exercises to help control urinary incontinence or to relieve pelvic pain.
- Oncology (cancer care), to help if cancer or treatment for cancer causes you to have problems with movement.
- Manual lymphatic drainage, which is a special form of massage to help reduce swelling when the lymphatic system is not properly draining fluids from your tissues.
- Cardiac rehabilitation, is a specialist treatment program which consists of monitored exercise to improve your strength and endurance; and education to reduce your risk of further heart problems.
- Cold and ice - Ice and cold packs are used in physical therapy to relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation from injuries and other conditions. Ice can be used for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. In some cases, ice may be used several times a day. Some therapists also use cooling lotions or spray.
- Heat - Heat can help relax and heal your muscles and soft tissues by increasing blood circulation. This can be especially helpful if a joint is stiff from osteoarthritis or from being immobilized. Heat can also relax the muscles before exercise. But heat can also increase swelling in an injured area if it is used too soon.
- Hydrotherapy - Hydrotherapy is the use of water to treat a disease or to maintain health. The term "hydrotherapy" (water therapy) can mean either exercise in the water or using water for care and healing of soft tissues. This type of therapy is based on the theory that water has many properties that give it the ability to heal.
- Ultrasound - Ultrasound therapy uses high-pitched sound waves to ease muscle spasms and relax and warm muscles before exercise, to help relieve pain and inflammation, and to promote healing.
- Electrical stimulation- Electrical stimulation is the general term that describes the use of electrical current to create an effect in the body. There are several uses for electrical stimulation.
- Physical therapists sometimes use electrical stimulation at low levels to reduce the sensation of pain. It may work either by "scrambling" pain signals to mask feelings of pain or by causing the body to produce natural pain-killers called endorphins.
- Physical therapists can also use electrical stimulation to cause muscles to contract (tense). This type of therapy can help maintain muscle tone when muscles would otherwise lose strength or help teach muscles to contract again.
- Electrical stimulation is being studied as a way to help with healing of wounds and broken bones.