Joint injuries are among the most common problems experienced by physical therapy patients. These injuries may result from trauma such as injury or from wear and tear to the joint as in the case of arthritis. Patients may also seek physical therapy following surgical procedures. Hip, knee, elbow, shoulder, wrist, hand, ankle and spinal surgery are all common.
Before beginning treatment, we will perform a subjective assessment by interviewing the patient and reviewing the patients records such as x-ray reports or doctor's referrals. An objective physical assessment follows to assess the extent of the patients deficits and to formulate treatment goals.Once the assessment is over, we will set goals for your treatment. These goals should be measurable and functional.
In the case of lower limb joint injuries, treatment will focus on balance,coordination, restoring muscular strength and joint range of motion. We will teach you how to use an assistive device such as a walker, cane or crutches if needed. We may need to bandage or strap injured joints to control inflammation and swelling and to provide support.We aim to relieve pain and inflammation using techniques such as passive stretching and joint mobilization, massage and hot and cold therapy. Education on pain management and exercises to be performed at home will be provided.
Patients with spinal joint problems benefit from improving their core strength to protect the joints and intervertebral discs. Physical therapy focuses on exercise prescription to increase core muscle strength and endurance as well as massage, joint mobilization, muscle stretching and sometimes acupuncture to relieve pain, stiffness and inflammation.
Upper limb joint injuries, especially shoulder injuries can be very limiting for patients’ functional daily activities. We aim to restore range of motion, correct muscle imbalance and improve the posture and biomechanics of the shoulder so that you are able to regain normal function as quickly as possible. Massage, mobilization, strapping and exercises all help relieve pain and promote healing.
With patients who have wrist and hand joint injuries, their treatment may center mainly on fine motor activities. Since the hand is such a complicated structure, physical therapists are specially trained in this area. Range of motion, strength and fine motor tasks form the basis of therapy as well as splinting in some cases. By the end of the treatment program, you should feel confident to resume your prior activities.
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