Physical Therapy

What is physical therapy?
Physical Therapy (PT), also known as physiotherapy, combines passive modalities with therapeutic exercise to rehabilitate the spine and other parts of the body. Passive modalities include heat/cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, and joint mobilization. These modalities are not the sole treatment, but supplement therapeutic exercise. Active therapy, or therapeutic exercise includes stretching, strengthening, and postural modification to rehabilitate the spine and prevent re-injury.

What is the purpose of physical therapy?
The purpose of physical therapy is to help the patient return to active life as quickly as possible. Therapy strives to reduce pain, increase flexibility, range of motion, and function, build strength, and correct posture.

Physical therapy is often prescribed for patients following spine surgery, to treat soft tissue trauma, nerve inflammation/injury, muscle spasms, fractures, arthritis, and many other problems.

Patient education is an important component in physical therapy. Patients learn about how their spine works, proper body mechanics, common disorders and their causes, benefits of good posture, importance of physical fitness and its relationship to injury and disease prevention.

What does the physical therapist do?
The physical therapist talks to the patient and evaluates their condition by testing joint motion, muscle strength, cardiovascular function, reflexes, and functional skills. If a physician referred the patient, the therapist will review the prescription along with the patient's records. After necessary information has been gathered, the physical therapist designs a treatment plan to fit the patient's needs and goals. The therapist and patient will work together as a team toward wellness.