A Physical Therapist can help you ease pain, improve mobility and reduce future injury. They will teach you exercises to strengthen your muscles and improve balance.
Active exercise is a big part of physical therapy, but some patients may need passive exercise to prevent contractures (stiffened muscles from lack of use). PT also uses modalities like heat and cold therapy.
A physical examination is an opportunity for a therapist to assess the overall health of the patient. It can involve observations of the eyes, ears, nose and throat as well as a palpation of the joints & muscles. Patients are encouraged to bring any questions they may have for the doctor, as this is a time of education.
The physical exam is typically completed near the end of the objective data collection. This is done to avoid reliance on special tests before the PT has thoroughly assessed all of the subjective and objective data.
Physical Therapists in Dothan AL should find a comfortable place to examine their patients, and ensure privacy by asking other people in the room to leave. The therapist should use proper draping to protect private areas from exposure. The therapist should address the patient politely, and provide explanations and reassurance as needed. The therapist should also communicate that further steps will be determined by medical history and findings on the physical examination.
The physical therapist evaluation is one of the most important parts of the process, because it provides the foundation for your treatment plan. It will include your medical history, any medications you are taking or have taken in the past, and a description of your symptoms, pain levels, and functional limitations.
The PT will also assess your range of motion, muscle strength, and balance and coordination. They may use diagnostic imaging (x-rays, MRI, CT scans) to gain further insight into your condition and how it’s impacting your life.
The PT will often use an objective assessment tool such as the OPTIMAL instrument to score the patient/client on 22 movements that patients/clients need to perform for their daily lives. By calculating the sum of these scores upon admission and discharge from physical therapy, therapists can measure the improvement in performance. This information can then be used to guide future treatments. Automated performance evaluation could also be used to help improve this data collection process by drawing insights from the PT’s way of scoring these movements or using machine learning algorithms to score them in the same manner.
Physical therapy treatment involves a plan that reduces pain, improves mobility and strength, and helps prevent future injury. A therapist will develop a customized treatment plan, and may work with a physical assistant or therapy aide (PTA).
Exercises are a large part of a physical therapist’s treatment program. They may include active exercises, such as walking or swimming, or passive exercises, such as stretching. The goal is to improve mobility, balance and muscle strength.
A PT’s treatment plan can also include massage, heat or cold applications, or special positioning or strengthening techniques. Using tools like crutches or walkers, the therapist can help patients move better and avoid pain. PTs can also prescribe therapeutic medications and x-ray imaging. They can even give a patient a referral to a specialist if needed. The length of time a person receives physical therapy depends on the type of condition and the doctor’s diagnosis. Generally, treatments are done between 14 and 28 days apart unless the doctor specifies otherwise.
The physical therapist implements and monitors an individualized plan of care to maximize patients’ functional outcomes. This may include patient education, establishing and managing goals, and consulting with other health care professionals to ensure quality of care.
The therapist may do this while the patient is performing exercises or using other treatment techniques like electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound and cryotherapy. The therapist will also use modalities such as moist heat, dry needling and mobilization of joints and soft tissue.
The therapist will listen to the patient’s needs and establish an evaluation plan at the first visit. This plan will include a goal or goals for therapy which should be realistic and established with the patient’s input. The therapist will review short-term goals as well as long term goals. The therapist will give the patient instructions for home care which should be followed in order to gain the most benefit from the sessions. These will usually include stretches, daily activities and rules for resuming regular activities after a period of time at rest.