What to Expect with Physical Therapy

It’s all about motion. Once we’re past the toddler stage we tend to take the ability to move for granted. That is, until we can’t. Or it hurts to even try. Injury, overuse, or surgery can all hinder easy and pain-free movement. That’s when you turn to physical therapy, either on your own or with your doctor’s recommendation.

But your highly trained, licensed physical therapists at The Medical Group of South Florida in Jupiter, Florida, have found that a lot of our patients don’t know what to expect when they come to see us, so we’d like to demystify what happens when you undergo physical therapy.

Your first visit to us will entail a thorough evaluation of your complaint. Our professional team will review your medical history, explore what led to your present difficulty, evaluate your current medications, if any, and discuss your short-term and long-term goals for rehabilitation. We will also perform various testing procedures designed to elicit further information on your condition, as well as your overall physical flexibility. Then together we will develop a plan for the optimal way to approach your therapy.

The key is not only to alleviate your current pain, but to provide recommendations and exercise tips and techniques to prevent it from recurring. Many times injuries or chronic pain stem from poor posture, careless movement, or lack of correct exercise. Once we’ve addressed your immediate pain, our goal is then to show you the proper body mechanics that will allow you maximum freedom of movement and correct body carriage to prevent future impairment or injury.

There are two main approaches to physical therapy: active and passive. Depending on your situation, we typically employ a combination of the two, tailored specifically to your individual needs and abilities.

Active physical therapy includes such hands-on modalities as massage, stretching, and manual exercises to loosen muscles, tendons, and joints, and help them regain their prior range of pain-free motion.

Passive physical therapy often involves the applications of ice or heat, ultrasound therapy, low-level laser therapy, or electrical stimulation to activate dormant muscles. Although these are commonly employed techniques in physical therapy, they do not and should not replace active physical therapy for rehabilitation.

Once we have addressed your immediate problem, we will provide training in proper posture, ergonomics, and exercise routines best suited to your physical condition, and advice on how to adapt to any new limitations. We will provide exercises specially designed to help you regain strength, flexibility, balance, and stability.

Treatment sessions normally last between 30 minutes to an hour. For short-term rehabilitation, you can expect to spend between six to 12 weeks to return to your formerly active lifestyle. Longer-term issues, such as congenital impairments, will be an ongoing process designed to allow each patient to achieve their maximum range of movement. Each person and each condition is different, and must be addressed on an individual basis.

Our goal in providing physical therapy is to help you regain, to the greatest extent possible, the ability to move without pain. We will work with you to help you achieve this goal, offering time-tested approaches combined with cutting-edge techniques designed to get you up and moving again.

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South Florida’s Choice for Comprehensive Care.