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What to expect from physical therapy

istock 1160111451 1 Physical therapy is designed to decrease pain and increase support for bones and joints to improve your mobility and quality of life when you’re recovering from an injury or other physical impairment. Read on to learn how physical therapy works and what to expect during your appointments.

What do physical therapists do?

  • Physical therapists are experts in the evaluation and treatment of a variety of simple to complex conditions, including post-surgical rehabilitation, nonsurgical orthopedic injuries, work-related injuries and work conditioning.
  • Physical therapists provide custom splints and brace fabrication along with fitting of bracing for sport and arthritic needs.
  • Physical therapists also treat patients who have chronic pain disorders, provide pre- and post-operative education and rehabilitation and other assessment and education as necessary.

What happens during a physical therapy session?

  • Your first physical therapy session will begin with a consultation so the therapist can learn more about your injury.
  • The initial physical examination may include a variety of screenings and tests, including range-of-motion measurements, palpation of injury, functional mobility testing and strength testing.
  • After the consultation and examination have been completed, you will be presented with a personalized plan to help you move better and feel better. This includes a variety of therapeutic modalities such as heat, ice, hydrotherapy, ultrasound, laser and electrical stimulation. Mobilization and massage may be used to improve blood flow and relieve pain. Your therapist may move the affected joints and muscles to increase flexibility and range of motion.
  • Your physical therapist will prescribe specific exercises and stretches that can be done at home between physical therapy sessions. While they will demonstrate these exercises and stretches during your appointment in the office, be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand or the movement isn’t clear.

You may be sore after your physical therapy sessions, but this should improve with each session as your strength and flexibility improve. The number of sessions needed will depend on your own situation. To learn more about our physical therapy services, call (219) 795-3360 to schedule an appointment. 

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