In a nutshell, Physical Therapy Montgomery County helps people move better and overcome pain. PT is done with a doctor’s prescription and can be done in private practice, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.Physical Therapy

The first appointment is always an evaluation, which consists of three parts: a subjective conversation about your injury, a physical exam, and the final diagnosis and treatment plan.

Physical Therapy (also known as physiotherapy) helps people improve how their body moves. It can help manage symptoms of pain and stiffness or reduce the need for surgery and prescription drugs. PT can also prevent the loss of mobility by teaching patients ways to increase their daily activity levels and overall fitness.

The first appointment is called an evaluation and typically lasts 30-60 minutes. It has three parts: a subjective conversation about your pain or injury; an objective assessment of your movement; and a final diagnosis and explanation of your treatment plan.

Exercises make up a large part of the therapy session. They aim to improve your mobility and strength by strengthening muscles and increasing the range of motion in joints. These exercises won’t work unless you practice them regularly at home, so your therapist will teach you how to do them.

Other treatments can include massages and the use of physical stimuli, like heat or cold, electrical currents or ultrasound. These techniques are used to relieve pain, reduce scar tissue buildup, relax tight muscles, and increase blood flow to the injured area. Your therapist will be able to recommend the best treatments for your specific needs.

Many physical therapists specialize in certain areas, like orthopedics or sports medicine. They might also focus on a particular age group, such as children or older adults. Some even have their own private practices. Others are employed by hospitals, public schools, rehabilitation centres or geriatric care facilities.

In the 19th century, approaches to physical therapy began to appear in Europe. By the early 20th century, physical therapists in the United States were working with polio patients to help them learn how to move and use their remaining muscle function.

Today, therapists continue to advance the field of physical therapy by researching and developing new techniques. The profession is undergoing rapid growth and change, and more and more patients are turning to it for relief from painful and debilitating health conditions. As a result, there are now more physical therapists than ever before, and there is a greater diversity in the fields they practice in.

Physical Therapy Evaluation

For many people who have never needed physical therapy before, it can be intimidating to walk into your first evaluation appointment. However, a reputable clinic will be prepared to guide you through this process step-by-step and set the stage for effective and individualized care.

The initial physical therapy evaluation is the foundation of a patient’s treatment journey. The purpose of the evaluation is to identify underlying physical issues, establish a baseline for tracking progress, and create an individualized treatment plan for each patient.

To collect this objective data, your physical therapist will likely take measurements such as strength levels, range of motion, flexibility, balance and gait to name just a few. Depending on the situation, your PT may also perform special tests to help confirm or rule out a specific diagnosis. However, a good physical therapist will limit the number of special tests conducted as reliance on these tools can lead to an over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatments.

Your therapist will then review your health history and ask you questions about your symptoms and how your condition is affecting your daily life. The more open and honest you are, the better your therapist can understand your needs and develop an effective treatment plan.

It is common for therapists to use hands-on manual techniques to measure and assess the health of your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments during an examination. This includes palpation, joint mobilization and hands-on massage. If you are uncomfortable with this type of contact, please speak up right away. Your therapist will want to ensure you are comfortable throughout your examination.

Once all the subjective and objective data is collected, your therapist will write an overall assessment of your condition in a document called an examination report. This document will include the information you shared with your therapist, your physical therapy diagnosis and prognosis for improvement, as well as the treatment plan you have in mind.

Your therapist will then discuss the plan with you, including the frequency of your appointments and potential treatments. It is important to communicate with your therapist throughout the course of treatment, so that your plan can be amended and adjusted to meet the changing needs of your body as it heals.

Physical Therapy Treatment

Many people seek physical therapy to help relieve pain and improve their movement so they can get back to their daily activities. A therapist can help you with an injury, illness or condition that affects the muscles, bones, joints, nerves, spinal cord and brain. The therapist will use hands-on treatment and exercises to treat your symptoms, as well as teach you ways to manage them on your own.

Some PT treatments may include massage, joint mobilization, traction, electrical stimulation and heat or cold therapy. Other treatments may involve the use of special equipment like balance and gait training devices (Bertec), computerized dynamic posturography or a water-based therapy system (Wattson).

You and your therapist will decide how often you need to visit for treatment, whether face-to-face or via telehealth, and how long each session will last. You will also create a treatment plan with goals that you and your therapist will work toward. You and your therapist will review the plan at each treatment session to make sure you are on track to meet your goals.

Your therapist will likely be assisted by physical therapist assistants, who are educated and licensed clinicians that provide care under the supervision of the physical therapist. Your therapist will also share your progress with your doctor, who will let you know if any other health professionals should be involved in your care.

During your initial evaluation, your therapist will ask you questions about your condition or injury and how it impacts your life. They will also ask about your home environment, lifestyle and goals to identify what factors can impact your recovery.

Some PTs specialize in specific areas. For example, a therapist who specializes in geriatric medicine can help patients with conditions such as osteoporosis or arthritis. Other therapists work with athletes to alleviate injuries and help them recover from sports such as knee or hip replacements. Still others help patients with lungs recover from chronic illnesses such as bronchitis, or those with severe burns. And a therapist who works with patients who have had an amputation can help them learn to use artificial limbs.

Physical Therapy Exercises

Muscle-strengthening physical therapy exercises are essential to increasing functional strength and mobility. This can help people feel less pain and have fewer falls. This type of exercise is especially helpful for people who have had an injury or illness that affects their balance and coordination. This can include people who have had a stroke, spinal cord injury, or even arthritis.

Flexibility training exercises are slowed movements that stretch the muscles, joints, and other parts of the body. They can be static or dynamic and may use resistance bands or your own weight. They help prevent muscle tightness and joint stiffness, which reduces the range of motion of a body part and can cause pain and discomfort.

Movement (or ambulation) exercises are designed to get people to move around more, either with the help of a walker or crutches, a cane, or without any aids. They are also used to prevent contractures, which is the permanent stiffening of a muscle or group of muscles from not moving for long periods of time.

Your therapist will probably have you practice these movements on the physical therapy treatment floor during your first visit, then provide you with a plan to do them at home. It is important to follow the plan because much of the benefit of PT comes from exercising outside of the treatment room.

PTs are trained to help patients with pain and discomfort, so they may adjust an exercise or use another method to help alleviate the pain. However, if the pain persists or the exercise is causing additional damage, they will likely stop the exercise or provide a different one.

When the therapist provides you with an exercise plan, they should give you a written description of how to do it at home. If you don’t understand the instructions, ask for clarification. You should also write down the routine and note any unusual sensations or pain that arise during your PT sessions. This will be a great way to track your progress and make sure you’re getting the most out of the exercise routine at home.