Different Types of Physical Therapy

Different Types of Physical Therapy

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Physical therapy can be used to treat a number of conditions affecting various parts of the body, including the spine, knee, hip, shoulder, hand, foot, and ankle. Whether you have suffered an injury, have a medical condition or illness, are recovering from surgery, or have a constant pain in a joint, bone, or muscle, physical therapy could be the solution to getting you back out doing the things you enjoy, pain-free.

The key aim of physical therapy is to help get you back to the point where you can perform normal, everyday activities without difficulty or pain.

Physical therapy can help people of virtually all ages regain or improve their strength, movement, and function, which has been limited as a result of suffering an injury or illness. Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed medical professionals who have qualifications, training, and experience in restoring and maintaining physical function and mobility.

Your PT can work with you to design a personalized program that is tailored to meet your specific needs and to help you achieve your goals for a successful recovery. A physical therapist helps take care of you in all phases of healing, right from the initial diagnosis through recovery and prevention of recurrence.

What Types of Physical Therapy Are There?

Physical therapy can be categorized into several main practice areas, which include the following:

Orthopedic physical therapy – This focuses on the musculoskeletal system and helps to restore function to joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. This area often includes sports injuries.

Pediatric physical therapy – This focuses on infants, young children, and adolescents as they grow and develop.

Physical therapy for age-related conditions – This focuses on managing conditions such as arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, joint replacement recovery, and balance disorders, which are conditions often affecting older adults.

Neurological physical therapy – This focuses on treating neurological conditions and impairments including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. The aim of this therapy is to help patients function at the highest level in order to live as independently as possible.

Cardiopulmonary physical therapy – This focuses on increasing endurance and improving functional independence for patients suffering from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions such as heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The Aim of Physical Therapy

The main goals of physical therapy are to help patients with:

  • Pain relief
  • Improved movement and function
  • Balance and coordination control
  • Rehabilitation after an injury, debilitating illness, or surgery
  • Prevention of disability or surgery
  • Adapting to prosthetic limbs and joints
  • Management of chronic illness (arthritis, diabetes, heart disease)
  • Brace and splint training
  • Assistive device training (crutches, cane, walker)
  • Recovery from a sports injury

Physical Therapy in the Tri-Cities, Tennessee

Your treatment will be based on your initial medical evaluation, medical history, imaging test results, and diagnosis. Your progress will continue to be reassessed by the physicians and physical therapists.

At Watauga Orthopaedics, our physical therapists use a variety of treatments and techniques to aid recovery, including:

  • Manual therapy for joint and soft-tissue mobilization
  • Electrical stimulation and therapeutic ultrasound
  • Therapeutic exercises and stretches
  • Massage therapy
  • Heat and cold treatments
  • Customized progressive exercise programs
  • Modalities for pain relief and promotion of healing
  • Patient education and involvement, including home exercise programs

Our physical therapists can work with you to find activities and lifestyle changes that will help improve your overall health and help prevent further injury. If you suffer from a sports injury, your physical therapist can design an appropriate exercise program for you to ensure you can return to your sport safely and avoid recurrence.

In addition to physical therapy, hand therapy is also available at Watauga Orthopaedics. This is a specialized area of rehabilitation which provides care for patients with hand conditions resulting from a medical condition (such as arthritis), or following hand surgery or injury. The hand therapist has specialized training in the complex anatomy of the hand and wrist as well as advanced skills in post-operative therapy programs for hand or wrist injuries.

At Watauga Orthopaedics, our skilled, caring, and compassionate physical therapists are here for you. Our goal is to help you regain your function and mobility so you can make a complete recovery and get back to the activities and lifestyle you enjoy.

Call us today at (423) 282-9011 or fill out our online appointment request form right now to schedule a visit with one of our orthopedic doctors and specialists. We look forward to serving you.