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What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is the ability to help those who are currently not moving well or efficiently.  Often times we see patients after an injury or surgery, however scientific studies are showing more that preventative physical therapy can be very effective for injury prevention. Our physical therapists are biomechanists, much like a human mechanic, and their goal is to help you fine-tune your functional problem areas so that you may return to pain-free activity as safely and effectively as possible.

Far too often we have heard from patients that their belief in physical therapy was tainted from previous experiences consisting of short examinations, limited hands-on experiences, poor education, limited clinical reasoning, and non-specific exercise prescriptions. We have heard too many stories about therapists who haven’t listened to the patient’s needs or goals, or who only spend 15 minutes with their patients before passing them off to an aide or tech.  Many times these patients get passed around and don’t have a clear understanding of the exercises or new movement patterns. This is not only embarrassing to hear but this is not what our profession represents.  Physical therapy requires a proper evaluation in order to determine effective functional progress on follow up visits.  At Therapydia, you are the focus. We don’t believe in “churn and burn”. With us, you’ll receive one-on-one, undivided attention with a physical therapist. Discover physical therapy with Therapydia.

Manual therapy is a physical therapy technique utilizing hands-on movements to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures. A physical therapist physically kneads and manipulates your joints, muscles, and tissues in order to diagnose biomechanical injuries, reduce pain, and promote proper healing. Being skilled in these muscular techniques is what sets physical therapists apart from other health care practitioners. Since there are many different types of manual therapy techniques, a physical therapist will be able to determine which technique best fits your needs.

Soft tissue mobilization is a hands-on therapeutic technique that is designed to restore mechanical movement and increase range of motion by releasing tension within fascia. Fascia are sheets of fibrous tissue that surround and support muscles by separating them into layers. Following some kind of trauma or injury fascia and muscles may shorten and restrict movement and blood flow. Depending on where your restrictions are located, your physical therapist will apply different directions of pressure to break down muscle adhesions.

Physical therapists will use these manual mobilization techniques when joint structures are somehow limiting the normal motion (i.e sliding, pivoting, etc.) of your joints. Using small and specific movements, a physical therapist manually moves a target synovial joint through natural levels of resistance. These motions stretch and strengthen the tissue surrounding the joint bone—normalizing joint motion, reducing spasms, and controlling pain.

Muscle energy is an active technique used to reposition a dysfunctional joint and treat the surrounding muscles. It can be used to lengthen a shortened or spastic muscle or mobilize a joint that is stiff our restricted. The patient is guided through performing a specific muscle contraction against a resistive barrier, the physical therapist’s manual contact with the joint. Your physical therapist continues with this process until your muscle stretches further each time and range of motion improves.

A physical therapist utilizing strain/counterstrain techniques will look for specific “tender points” in the body that indicates which fascial structure is involved. The technique is mainly used to reduce chronic and acute muscle spasms anywhere in the body. Once your physical therapist locates the fascial structure involved in the spasm, they position your body for a certain amount of time (i.e. 90 seconds to 5 minutes) so the muscle is shortened and relaxed. By subduing the spasm, major muscle groups are able to return to pain free functions.

Recover With Therapydia

Our work together starts off with an initial evaluation where our physical therapist gathers information from you about your current needs and conducts a functional assessment which may include the use of high speed video analysis to get objective data around your range and motion. Your physical therapist will work with you to create a custom-fitted program based on your needs and lifestyle. We believe in educating our patients throughout their entire treatment to ensure they have a clear understanding of the diagnosis to make doing exercises at-home easier. At the end of every visit, we want you to walk out feeling better. Our programs are built off of patient feedback and progress – our programs will evolve with you. Your physical therapy treatment may include manual techniques, movement-based therapies or a combination of different methods including The Graston Technique®, an evidence-based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) that enables our physical therapists to effectively assess and treat restrictions of scar tissue, muscle, and fascia that contribute to dysfunctional movement of the kinetic chain.

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