Physical therapists at the Spine Institute are specially trained to manage spine patients. A functional assessment can be completed that will assist in creating an individualized care plan. If it is not feasible for the patient to attend physical therapy at the Spine Institute, arrangements will be made with a physical therapist closer to the patients home or place of work.
Physical therapy encompasses a variety of treatments to promote healing, relieve pain, build strength and flexibility and help prevent future injuries. Your physical therapist may create and supervise a program of exercises and make suggestions to help improve body mechanics (how to sit, sleep, lift, and move). Other physical therapies include spinal manipulation (application of a force to a spinal joint) and traction.
Spine Physical Therapy
Individually, or along with the triage manager, we may complete a functional assessment. Using the information gathered, our team will work together to determine which care providers on our team will be most beneficial in assisting you with your disorder or problem and will create an individualized plan of care. This individualized plan is intended to improve or restore strength, flexibility, movement, and function.
Our licensed professional physical therapists are very knowledgeable in the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the body. Most importantly they work with you in setting goals and establishing a plan to accomplish those goals in a reasonable time frame. They use a hands-on approach with specific procedures as needed.
Common Therapeutic Procedures
The most commonly used therapeutic procedures are:
- Manual (hands on) Therapy: Consists of techniques to relieve muscle tightness and improve areas of weakness. We work to restore your back, neck and other painful areas to the best possible point of pain-free resilience.
- Therapeutic Exercises: You will receive a customized exercise plan for your condition including strengthening, stabilizing, and stretching exercises that work to restore normal range of motion. These exercises also improve movement and proper muscle balance.
- Postural Corrections: Physical therapists will assist you to adjust your posture through changes in your behaviors and activities as they relate to your daily activities. They will also assist you to improve your posture through specific exercises and educate you about your specific disorder and how your actions and movements impact your mobility and pain levels.
- Home Management Program: A short, detailed home exercise program, appropriate to your stage/condition, including the do's and don'ts of self-management can be provided.
- Traction: Traction is a non-surgical method for decompressing the vertebrae. It is either done manually by a specially trained provider, or mechanically with braces or devices that gently stretch the spine.
Pain Management with Physical Therapy
Short-term therapy for neck and back pain may include: moist heat, cryotherapy, ultrasound, massage, electrical stimulation and/or traction to assist in physiologically decreasing the pain associated with acute back and neck pain. However, if your neck or back pain is identified as a chronic condition, you may be referred to a physical therapist outside of the Spine Institute.