Physical therapy treatment is a carefully mapped journey with a start and end. Treatments evolve and progress as the injury heals and movement improves. In an outpatient setting, initial treatments focus on reducing pain and muscle guarding, using soft tissue massage, ultrasound, lasers, electrical stimulation, heat/ice, supportive taping and instructions on self-treatment. When pain levels recede, treatments will focus on restoring the mobility of joints, flexibility of the muscles, and retraining movement.
As movement specialists, therapists are trained to identify dysfunctional movement patterns that are often the root cause of most orthopedic problems. Once these patterns are identified, patients are given instructions on corrective exercise techniques that will restore normal functional movement. While coordination and movement improve, strengthening techniques are introduced to help stabilize the patient’s posture and “lock in” the correct movements. Finally, more advanced exercise techniques will be introduced to ensure patients are able to tolerate the physical demands of normal, everyday activity as well as any fitness and/or athletic programs they wish to participate in.