Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a treatment method for improving limited body movement and functionality that are a result of disease, injury or aging. Treatment involves restorative exercises that focus on developing muscle strength, flexibility, balance, posture and coordination, and that provide overall pain relief. Physical therapy is designed to promote a patient’s overall health and fitness, prevent reinjury and maximize quality of life. It may be prescribed as an initial form of treatment for certain conditions or injuries, or to restore strength and function after surgery.

Types Of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has many specialty areas dealing with different types of injuries and diseases. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties recognizes only these areas:

  • Neurology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Sports
  • Clinical electrophysiology
  • Women’s health
  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary

To rehabilitate patients, physical therapists use a combination of exercises and stretches, which are often combined with relaxation and recuperation techniques, such as electrostimulation and hot/cold treatments.

Physical Therapy Sessions

The core of a physical therapy session usually involves physical exercises to strengthen the body; the exercises are designed around the patient’s injury or disease. Exercises usually progress in difficulty and intensity over the course of the sessions. A physical therapy session usually ends with an icing session or therapeutic massage; electrostimulation may be used during this cool-down period. The physical therapist records and states the patient’s progress for the day, as well as possible goals for the next session.

At-Home Physical Therapy

In many cases, physical therapy can be performed at home, without the therapist’s being present; this usually speeds up the recovery process. The patient should be given exercises or stretches that can safely be done on her or his own. Adhering to the physical therapy program and the entire rehabilitation process are essential for achieving effective results.

Heat and ice Therapy

Heat and cold are used to reduce pain, but are not given as sole treatments for an ailment; they are used to help with the treatment. They are usually in the form of an ice/ heat pack, towel, shower, wrap, or pad. However, cold/ hot showers or baths can be taken at home as well.

Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS)

The application of electrical current, through electrodes, placed on the skin for pain control. It sends small electrical pulses through the body, in which the patient may feel only tingles, to the tissue below the skin.

Ultra Sound

The uses of sound waves, above human hearing levels, that are sent through the body and absorbed by the body’s tissue, to stimulate said tissue, and relieve pain.

Spinal Traction

Spinal Decompression Therapy involves stretching the spine, using a traction table or similar motorized device, with the goal of relieving back pain and/or leg pain. Traction can also be applied manually by the physical therapist. This procedure is called nonsurgical decompression therapy (as opposed to surgical spinal decompression, such as laminectomy and micro discectomy).

Gait Training

Gait training is a type of physical therapy that helps people improve their ability to stand and walk. One goal of gait training is preventing falls. Gait training may be recommended after an illness or injury, to help a patient regain independence in walking, even if an adaptive device is needed. Gait training helps strengthen muscles and joints, improves balance, improves posture, develops muscle memory, builds endurance, and retrains the legs for repetitive motion.

The secondary benefit of gait training is a reduction of other illness, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, through physical activity and movement. People who choose gait training may become healthier overall than people who choose immobility.


Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body.

Myofascial Release (MFR)

A soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. This alternative medicine therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.

Joint Mobilization

Manual therapy intervention, a type of passive movement of a skeletal joint; It is usually aimed at a ‘target’ synovial joint with the aim of achieving a therapeutic effect. When applied to the spine, it is known as spinal mobilization.

Orthopedic/ Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation

Orthopedics is the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. This complex system includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves and allows you to move, work, and be active.

Neurological Rehabilitation

Neurological rehabilitation is a doctor-supervised program designed for people with diseases, trauma, or disorders of the nervous system – including the brain and spinal cord. Neurological rehabilitation can often improve function, reduce symptoms, and improve the well-being of the patient.

Exercise Therapy


A form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone.

Types of Stretches:

  • Passive Ankle Dorsiflexion Stretch
  • Ankle Dorsiflexion Stretch with Chair
  • Passive Ankle Plantar Flexion Stretch
  • Ankle Plantar Flexion Stretch with Chair
  • Hip Adductor Stretch
  • Piriformis Stretch (Chair)
  • Piriformis Stretch (Supine)
  • Glut Stretch
  • Sleeper or Posterior Capsule Stretch
  • 4 Corner Stretching
  • Table Top IR Stretch
  • IR With Towel Stretch


Different exercises used to strengthen the area of discomfort, and gain back muscle especially to those who are learning how to use a particular muscle over again, or haven’t used it due to injury. (I.E. Having a broken leg or being temporarily paralyzed)

Types of Strengthening Exercises:

  • Clamshells
  • Stair-climber
  • Treadmill
  • stationary bicycle
  • elliptical
  • upper body ergometers
  • Prone Hip Extension
  • Sidelying Abduction with Extension
  • Straight Leg Raises
  • Squats

Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Training

Exercises that maintain and build endurance and health needed for completing everyday activities, such as walking/running on a treadmill, using the elliptical, etc.