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Physical Therapy


Our rehabilitation department has a joint venture with one of the top physical therapy organizations in the United States, ATI, together bringing you quality, trusted care, excellent expertise and remarkable outcomes.

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Call us or visit us at any time to learn how we can help you!

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy?

Both physical therapy and occupational therapy are hands-on modalities that help support clients’ independence to perform everyday tasks, each takes a unique approach to doing so. The difference between these two therapies is that one focuses on improving a person’s ability to perform daily activities while the other focuses on improving the movement of the body.

Our occupational therapists treat the whole person, regardless of whether they are recovering from an injury or have a cognitive or developmental disability. Any disability can affect motor skills, behavior, or emotions. Occupational therapists help people navigate the effects on their lives so they can engage more fully.  This form of therapy looks not only at a person’s participation in various activities but also in their environment and role in those activities and beyond.

Our physical therapists treat specific impairments of the human body. This form of therapy focuses on biomechanics, how the body moves through space. Physical therapy seeks to decrease pain, increase support for bones and joints, and thereby improve mobility and quality of life.

physical therapy

Our highly skilled therapists provide physical therapy treatments for a wide array of physical impairments including conditions of the foot and ankle, knees, hips, hands, elbow and shoulder. Our therapists are experts in the evaluation and treatment of conditions that range from simple to complex – including work-related injuries, work conditioning, post-surgical rehabilitation, and nonsurgical orthopedic injuries. We also provide on-site custom splints and brace fabrication along with evaluation and fitting of lower extremity sport and arthritic bracing.

We also treat chronic pain disorders, offer pre- and post-operative education and rehabilitation, job simulation and performance assessment and injury prevention education.

What should I expect in a physical therapy session?

During your initial physical therapy session, you can expect your therapist to learn more about your injury. A brief consultation and physical examination may include range of motion measurements, palpation of the injury, functional mobility testing, strength testing, and other screenings. Once your initial consultation and examination have been completed, a personalized treatment plan may include various modalities.

Therapeutic modalities included in physical therapy sessions may vary from one visit to another and may involve:

  • Ice
  • Heat
  • Hydrotherapy (water)
  • Ultrasound
  • Laser
  • Electrical stimulation

Mobilization and massage are also important modalities that physical therapists may use. These hands-on therapies can promote blood flow and relieve pain. The therapist may move the joints and muscles to increase flexibility and range of motion.

Exercise is a foundation of physical therapy. Each client is prescribed specific exercises and stretches that are designed to help them move better and feel better. Some physical therapy exercises use equipment such as a treadmill or stationary bike. Some involve specific movements and weight-bearing exercises that can be done at home after demonstration and practice in the office.  Optimal results are achieved when clients perform their prescribed exercises in between physical therapy sessions.

Will I be sore after my physical therapy session?

Physical therapy sessions are conducted with a specific plan in mind. That plan is determined by each person’s specific needs. Sometimes, building strength requires relatively tough training. It pushes, but not too much. After physical therapy, it is possible that you may feel sore. Several factors influence this, including your daily activities, body type, and habits. Over time, as strength and flexibility improve, soreness should decrease.

Is physical therapy painful?

Although physical therapy can be relatively hard at certain points, it shouldn’t hurt. Our trained physical therapists maintain a safe and productive environment that aims to achieve the best results for our patients. Various therapies, such as deep massage and certain exercises, depending on your physical state, may be uncomfortable. Communicate sensations with your therapist so they can assist you in completing your exercises and therapies as comfortably as possible.

How does physical therapy differ for elderly patients?

The modalities involved in physical therapy are consistent across the board. Patients of all ages can benefit from them. However, the treatment plan developed from one patient to another is modified based on their needs and physical or cognitive limitations. Physical therapy has helped elderly patients with physical injuries, degenerative disease, and also with limitations brought on by conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

How many physical therapy sessions will I need?

The number of physical therapy sessions a person needs is dependent on their situation. Our therapists customize each course of treatment to achieve the best possible results for each of our patients. It is important to keep in mind that physical therapy is a commitment that extends beyond the clinical setting. Patients also need to follow exercise protocols at home to achieve the intended outcome of their treatment plan.

occupational therapy

Our occupational therapists work intimately with the physicians to comprehensively treat patients from evaluation to discharge. Our highly skilled occupational therapists design and implement customized treatment plans which may include orthotic design and fabrication, wound care, scar management, exercise, manual therapy, sensory re-education, work conditioning, and patient education.

hand therapy

The Hand Therapy Certification Commission adopted the following definition and scope of practice for hand therapy:

Hand therapy is the art and science of rehabilitation of the upper limb, which includes the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. It is a merging of occupational and physical therapy theory and practice that combines comprehensive knowledge of the structure of the upper limb with function and activity.

how does hand therapy work?

Using specialized skills in assessment, planning and treatment, hand therapists provide therapeutic interventions to prevent dysfunction, restore function and/or reverse the progression of pathology of the upper limb in order to enhance an individual’s ability to execute tasks and to participate fully in life situations.

why choose bone & joint specialists

Through continuing education our therapists employ the latest evidence-based treatment techniques to ensure that our patients receive the most current and effective treatment available. Our Occupational Therapy department is committed to the welfare of each and every patient, firm in the belief that true healing involves the whole person.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about our Physical Therapy services, call us today at 219-795-3360 to schedule a consultation. Bone & Joint Specialists Orthopedic Center is proud to serve Merrillville, Valparaiso, Highland, and Hobart, IN.

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