The purpose of physical therapy is to address pain or disability issues. Specifically, an orthopedic physical therapist addresses musculoskeletal pain and/or loss of mobility that’s associated with an injury or recovering from surgery.
An orthopedic physical therapist assists patients in working through exercises and movements that will help them regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion. These therapists can also help patients avoid having to undergo surgery in the first place by treating and strengthening injured areas of the body.
Treatments Utilized by Orthopedic Physical Therapists
Physical therapy is often assumed to comprise exercises and stretches, but it can encompass a number of treatments to help keep the body strong – particularly in the field of orthopedics. It includes the following methods:
Heat and Cold
An orthopedic physical therapist can employ a number of approaches to render optimum results for the patient. These approaches include heat and cold therapy.
Heat therapy can improve circulation, increase blood flow, increase flexibility, and relax muscle tissues. Cold therapy can reduce swelling and inflammation by reducing blood flow and nerve activity in the immediate area.
As inflammation is abated, flexibility begins to be restored. Based on your condition, the therapist will know with which therapy to proceed.
As muscles are massaged in orthopedic physical therapy, it creates heat and relaxation. The muscles become more supple as blood flow is increased. Muscle stiffness is reduced, and the pain in the area begins to fade.
An orthopedic physical therapist almost always uses exercise to increase the patent’s range of motion, strength, and flexibility. The exercises are specific to the patient’s injury or post-operative condition, and they are designed to promote healing in the specific area that is injured or hurting. Balance and endurance are also a desired result of exercise as it relates to physical therapy, particularly when healing orthopedic issues related to the legs and hips.
Recovery After Orthopedic Surgery
When physical therapy and nonsurgical methods have not worked to relieve a patient’s pain and disability, orthopedic surgery may be necessary. Joint replacement is a common orthopedic surgery, and the surgeon will order specific orthopedic exercises and physical therapy to aid in post-operative recovery.
An orthopedic physical therapist will ensure that the exercises are performed correctly, and the patient will receive instruction and encouragement about how to continue the exercises on a daily basis to maintain strength.
Orthopedic Doctors in Kansas City, Kansas
Our medical team here at Midwest Orthopaedics treats musculoskeletal conditions, and we have physical therapists onsite who offer treatment methods to address pain and mobility issues. Our goal is to assist in improving your overall health, and to help you return to normal activities after suffering an injury or when recovering from surgery.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (913) 362-8317 or request an appointment using our online form. We look forward to helping you get back to the lifestyle you love.