What is Physical Therapy?

 
You are likely reading this because you can’t do the things you want to do! Yes, you may have pain, but the thing really motivating you to seek treatment is being unable to easily pick or play with your kids and grandkids, sit or sleep comfortably, or keep stress away doing the sports and activities you enjoy.

Physical therapy can help you overcome these frustrations and get you back to the activities you enjoy – without the need for medications, surgeries, or injections. For this to occur we need thorough examination and treatment based on the most recent research.

Examination – Tell Your Whole Story – Be Listened To!

You should expect to have a thorough and detailed examination as it will improve the likelihood that you receive the correct treatment and improve as quickly as possible. At PhysioWorks your examination begins before you even enter the clinic  – we ask you to complete your electronic paperwork before your appointment so that your therapist can review it and be prepared to make the most of your time in our clinic. Once you arrive, your examination will begin with plenty of time for you to fully explain your problem and what you feel are the issues, your needs, and your goals.

This approach allows a more accurate and thorough physical examination. Andrew has a holistic approach, so when looking at your knee pain don’t be suprised if he examines your back or discusses the quality of your sleep!

This video shows some of the physical examination that occurs in a hip patient with pinching symptoms in the groin.

Examination

– Tell Your Whole Story

– Be Listened To!

You should expect to have a thorough and detailed examination as it will improve the likelihood that you receive the correct treatment and improve as quickly as possible. At PhysioWorks your examination begins before you even enter the clinic  – we ask you to complete your electronic paperwork before your appointment so that your therapist can review it and be prepared to make the most of your time in our clinic. Once you arrive, your examination will begin with plenty of time for you to fully explain your problem and what you feel are the issues, your needs, and your goals.

This approach allows a more accurate and thorough physical examination. Andrew has a holistic approach, so when looking at your knee pain don’t be suprised if he examines your back or discusses the quality of your sleep!

This video shows some of the physical examination that occurs in a hip patient with pinching symptoms in the groin.

Therapeutic Exercise – Be An Empowered Participant In Your Healing!

The above video shows how we improve a clients single leg squat form.

When done correctly, specific exercise can provide you with relatively instant pain relief! It can be done at home, work, on the road, or even in the middle of the night, as needed instead of requiring you to come to our office. As you see improvement, exercise can be tailored to help you move in the direction you wish and meet whatever goals you wish to achieve. For example:

  • You might want to become confident lifting groceries or going on a big shopping trip
  • As a parent, you might want to improve strength and confidence lifting your child or grandchild.
  • You might want to become active and run a 5k or move forward in your sport: completing a marathon, lifting heavier, etc.
At PhysioWorks we typically see people on a less frequent basis (weekly, or sometimes even less frequently!). But each at each appointment you will spend a whole hour with your physical therapist, who will take time to listen to your story, explain their findings, and teach you proper technique, empowering you to actively participate in the healing process. We make use of an online portal with photos and videos of the exercises to help you stay on track. It takes time for the body to respond to exercise, and there is no research showing 2-3 visits per week provides a quicker recovery. If we consider a problem that has developed over a 6 month period, it will take longer than 4 or 8 weeks of therapy to provide true and lasting relief. For this reason, the less frequent appointments at PhysioWorks average 5-6 visits over a 6-month period.

The video above shows correct hip abduction technique targeting gluteus medius and minimus.

Our longer-term approach gives exercise a chance to work, allows us to see how things develop (pain is less predictable that we would like it to be), and better helps us provide an ongoing solution.

Exercise is the treatment we have the most positive research for, you have control of it, it is low risk, and it should be the tip of the arrow of your treatment.

Therapeutic Exercise

Be An Empowered Participant In Your Healing!

The above video shows how we improve a clients single leg squat form.

When done correctly, specific exercise can provide you with relatively instant pain relief! It can be done at home, work, on the road, or even in the middle of the night, as needed instead of requiring you to come to our office. As you see improvement, exercise can be tailored to help you move in the direction you wish and meet whatever goals you wish to achieve. For example:

 

  • You might want to become confident lifting groceries or going on a big shopping trip
  • As a parent, you might want to improve strength and confidence lifting your child or grandchild.
  • You might want to become active and run a 5k or move forward in your sport: completing a marathon, lifting heavier, etc.
At PhysioWorks we typically see people on a less frequent basis (weekly, or sometimes even less frequently!). But each at each appointment you will spend a whole hour with your physical therapist, who will take time to listen to your story, explain their findings, and teach you proper technique, empowering you to actively participate in the healing process. We make use of an online portal with photos and videos of the exercises to help you stay on track. It takes time for the body to respond to exercise, and there is no research showing 2-3 visits per week provides a quicker recovery. If we consider a problem that has developed over a 6 month period, it will take longer than 4 or 8 weeks of therapy to provide true and lasting relief. For this reason, the less frequent appointments at PhysioWorks average 5-6 visits over a 6-month period.

The video above shows correct hip abduction technique targeting gluteus medius and minimus.

Our longer-term approach gives exercise a chance to work, allows us to see how things develop (pain is less predictable that we would like it to be), and better helps us provide an ongoing solution.

Exercise is the treatment we have the most positive research for, you have control of it, it is low risk, and it should be the tip of the arrow of your treatment.

Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is skilled hands-on treatment provided by a trained Physical Therapist to reduce pain and/or improve range of motion and function. It can also help your therapist in forming a diagnosis and treatment plan. I use manual therapy in concert with therapeutic exercise to help relieve pain without the use of drugs or injections, and allow a patient to see an immediate improvement in their comfort and function while performing exercises or going about their daily life. Because my goal as a therapist is to return my patients to full health without long-term dependence on therapy, I view manual therapy as a secondary treatment; a tool we can use to help you on your road to recovery while your body is healing and strengthening in response to therapeutic exercise.

The video above shows a manual therapy technique we use on pinching hips called mobilization with movement (MWM).

Other Treatments

There are various other treatments that physical therapists can use. At PhysioWorks, we make regular use of video capture to help review progress and biomechanics. Some movements occur quickly and what a therapist sees with their eyes may only be half the story. We use both formal video capture using a 2-camera system and motion capture suite, and informal video analysis using an iPad. Learn more about this on our Performance & Injury Prevention page.

In post-surgical cases, such as ACL or knee replacement, where muscles are having a hard time working due to pain and swelling, we use a specific type of electrical stimulation (Russian current) to help start muscle working again. In these cases, we will show you have to use this technology and recommend purchasing a unit from a third party (cost is low) so you can do it regularly at home.