Physical therapy exercises are highly unique to the individual and the specific issue that you are facing, but the overall process is pretty standard. Whether you’re working to overcome a new or existing injury, recover after surgery or simply become a stronger athlete, oftentimes the PT process has a similar cadence. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at different stages of a standard physical therapy program.
The Stages Of Physical Therapy
While the specifics of each of these sections may vary a little, odds are your physical therapy program will look similar to this:
- Initial Evaluation – In order to provide you with the best level of care, we need to understand what’s going on with your body. It’s not enough to just look at an X-ray and see that you broke your leg, we need to see how the injury is affecting functions like your strength, balance and range of motion. We’ll review your medical history and any imaging exams, talk with you about your symptoms, your strengths and your weakness, and we’ll conduct a short physical examination to see how your body responds to specific types of stress or movements. This is known as a baseline assessment.
- Diagnosis – Next, your physical therapist will provide you with a specific diagnosis. Again, you may already know that you are dealing with a specific issue like a leg fracture, but your PT may also explain how this fracture is causing other areas of your body to compensate. They’ll provide you with a more comprehensive diagnosis of your current condition.
- Goal Discussion – Before diving into a treatment plan, it’s oftentimes helpful to have a back and forth conversation about your personal goals when it comes to your recovery. Are you hoping to regain enough function to be able to perform certain physical activities that are currently too daunting? Are you hoping to be recovered in time for your sports season? Do you simply want to put an end to chronic discomfort in a joint? We want to learn about your goals so that we can tailor a physical therapy routine that will help you achieve these goals.
- In-Clinic Treatment – Next, we’ll develop a physical therapy program and have you perform some exercises to target specific areas of your body. Your in-clinic exercises may look a little different every time you attend because your physical therapist will adjust your program based on your progress or lack thereof. Most patients visit their physical therapist weekly or semi-weekly for a set period of time for these in-clinic sessions.
- Self Management – The final stage of your physical therapy program will focus on self management. After your in-clinic session, your physical therapist will likely give you some exercises to perform on your own from the comfort of your home to help you continue to make progress when you’re between in-clinic sessions. Following through on these home-based exercises is a must if you want to make the strongest recovery possible. You will alternate between performing in-clinic and self management treatment exercises until you’ve made enough progress to stop coming to the clinic, and you may even be able to eventually stop performing your home-based exercises as well!
If this sounds easy enough, let our team help you overcome whatever physical challenges you’re facing. For more information, or to set up your initial consultation, give the team at OrthoRehab Specialists a call today at (612) 339-2041.
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