Managing Your Time With An Orthopedist

Orthopedic Physical Therapy: Common Uses And Treatment For Patients

Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on improving the function of the patient's orthopedic system. This includes those parts of the body that assist with movement, like muscles, ligaments, joints, bones and tendons.

A doctor may send patients to an orthopedic physical therapist to plan treatments that include education, exercise, and devices to assist in movement and mobility. The patient often sees a physical therapist after surgery or an injury to help in healing.

Physical Therapy After Surgery

After surgery, orthopedic physical therapy sessions help the patient heal and regain their normal lives while preventing scar tissue buildup by:

Physical therapy also assists the patient in regaining strength and balance. Some orthopedic surgical procedures that often require therapy post-op include the following:

In some cases, patients also see physical therapists after heart surgery.

Physical Therapy After Injuries

Patients attend physical therapy after both acute and chronic injuries. Chronic injuries are those that occur over time, such as:

These injuries result from repetitive movements that cause damage to bones, joints and tendons. The physical therapist helps by studying movement patterns to find the source of injury. They also help with symptoms, like pain and swelling while providing education on safety.

Acute injuries are those that happen as an isolated incident, like an accident, such as:

For acute injuries, the physical therapist can help rebuild strength, manage pain and swelling, and regain range of motion. The therapist also helps the patient function with any weight-bearing restrictions per the doctor's instructions.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Treatments

Orthopedic physical therapists use a wide range of methods and devices to help the patient. This includes treatments that the therapist gives you and the treatment that you perform, for example:

It's important to closely follow the therapist's instructions to get the most benefit out of any method used.

An orthopedic physical therapist can help you set clear and realistic goals based on your condition and health. To get the best results, the patient must be honest about pain levels, attend all appointments, and follow through on any home exercise plans.

If patients have questions about physical therapy referrals, your primary care doctor can assist in getting you into therapy if needed.