Orthopedic Physical Therapy

What is orthopedic physical therapy?

Orthopedic physical therapists diagnose, manage, and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. They also help people recover from orthopedic surgery. Blending science with inspiration, your physical therapist will teach you how to prevent or manage your health condition and help motivate you during your treatment so you can function optimally. Your physical therapist will work with you to help you understand your body so you will achieve long-term health benefits. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) has certified 11,527 individuals who have demonstrated advanced clinical knowledge and skills in physical therapy specialty areas. Currently, the ABPTS offers board-certification in eight specialty areas of physical therapy: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, Sports and Women’s Health.

Our specialists utilize a variety of treatment techniques to achieve to most effective outcomes. Instrument-assisted soft tissue release, or IASTM (similar to Graston) is effective in detecting scar tissue and treating the restrictions it causes to normal function. Our therapists use stainless steel instruments designed to help pinpoint thickening or scarring produced by the body in response to injury. We will then use the instruments to separate and break down scar tissue, stretch connective tissue and muscle fibers and increase blood flow to and from the affected area, all of which are crucial to the healing process.

Therapeutic cupping involves the use of suction (negative pressure) on the skin to gently draw tissues upward and create a vacuum over the target area. The cup stays in place for five to fifteen minutes. This will help treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, adhesions and swelling. Our practitioners use medical-grade silicone cups. These are pliable enough to be moved from place to place on the skin and produce a massage-like effect.

Dry Needling involves the insertion of a thin filament needle to stimulate the healing process of soft tissues (muscle “trigger points”, fascia, tendons and ligaments, etc) resulting in pain relief and restoration of healthy physiology. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor endplates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.

Joint mobilization/manipulation is a type of passive movement of a skeletal joint. It is usually aimed at one or more ‘target’ synovial joints with the goal of achieving a specific therapeutic effect. The clinical effects of joint manipulation have been shown to include:

  • Temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain
  • Shortened time to recover from acute back sprains
  • Temporary increase in passive range of motion (ROM)
  • Physiological effects upon the central nervous system

High velocity low amplitude (HVLA) thrust is often used interchangeably with manipulation. Our practitioners have advanced training in spinal and extremity manipulation for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.

The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion, as well as, providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting. Our clinicians utilize these methods to complement our manual techniques by addressing uncontrolled edema, muscular hypertonicity (spasm) or inhibition/facilitation disorders.

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