Written by: Ashley Bales, PT, DPT, Huntsville Clinic Director
What can you expect when you are referred to physical therapy, and how do you know where to go? These are common questions we get asked from new patients. And hi, I’m Ashley Bales, PT, DPT, the new Clinic Director at Nesin in our Huntsville clinic. As a Clinic Director and a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I love getting to educate the community about physical therapy and what someone can expect when they come to visit our clinic. Keep reading to find out more!
Q: What conditions do you commonly treat?
A: As an outpatient orthopedic clinic, we treat a variety of conditions. Most of the conditions we treat are musculoskeletal, but we also treat some neurological conditions. Some of the most common musculoskeletal conditions we treat include:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Rotator cuff tear
- Hip bursitis
- Shoulder impingement
- Total joint replacement (shoulder/knee/hip)
- Plantar fasciitis
Some of the common neurological conditions we treat include:
- General balance
Q: What types of treatment are included during each visit?
A: During each visit you can expect to experience a variety of hands-on treatment techniques as well as prescribed therapeutic exercises and activities. We utilize hands-on techniques to address restricted joints and soft tissues. Manual treatments can include targeted joint mobilizations, myofascial cupping, soft tissue mobilization and scar mobilization.
We also use a variety of techniques to aid neuromuscular re-education, including proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF).
Finally, we always want to include therapeutic exercises and activities. These are specific exercises targeted toward strengthening muscles and improving overall joint mobility. We also include exercises to aid direct carryover with functional activities we perform daily. Examples of these activities include transitioning from sitting to standing or ascending/descending stairs.
Q: Is all physical therapy the same?
A: No, not all physical therapy is the same. Yes, most physical therapists utilize similar techniques, but the approach for each individual differs. Here at Nesin, we emphasize hands-on techniques, and we prefer to look at an individual holistically. We look at how the components of the body work together rather than only on an individual basis.
Q: How long should I plan to attend physical therapy?
A: The length of time an individual spends in physical therapy can vary depending on his or her diagnosis. During a patient’s initial evaluation, the PT will conduct a thorough assessment of the patient’s strength, mobility, coordination, and function. Based on the objective findings of the exam, the PT will discuss with you his or her expectation for your plan of care.
Patients can often expect to be seen 1-3x/week initially. Throughout the plan of care, the patient and the PT will work together to reassess the patient’s goals to ensure they are making progress. As the patient improves and meets his or her goals, he or she should expect to decrease the number of PT visits per week before they transition to managing the condition independently with the prescribed daily exercises in their HEP (Home Exercise Program).
I hope this blog post has answered some of your questions about physical therapy. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to answer them for you!